Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas Opens North Texas' Largest Outpatient Cancer Center

Mar 24, 2011, 14:40 ET from Baylor Health Care System

DALLAS, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas (Baylor Dallas) is now home to North Texas' largest outpatient cancer center.  The new Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas opens to the public Saturday, March 26. The 467,000 square-foot facility marks a new era in cancer care for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and beyond by offering comprehensive services for cancer patients from initial diagnosis through post-recovery.  Baylor Dallas, already the leading cancer care provider in North Texas in terms of patients treated and according to Consumer Choice data, now brings together multiple phases of cancer care under one roof.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:

(Photo: )

"Between the new facilities, advanced technology, caring staff and innovative research and treatments, there's no need to leave Dallas for quality cancer care," said John McWhorter, president, Baylor Dallas and senior vice president, Baylor Health Care System.  "In fact, we think the new Baylor Sammons Cancer Center is a destination facility that will be bringing cancer patients from other parts of the country to Dallas."

The new Baylor Sammons Cancer Center offers everything from genetic testing to determine cancer risk, to diagnostic tools, to a wide array of treatment options, to rehabilitation and follow-up care. Contained within the 10-story building, are clinics focused solely on a specific type of cancer, such as cancers of the breast, blood, lung, liver, pancreas, head and neck, bone and skin among others.  For example, the W.H. & Peggy Smith Breast Center is dedicated exclusively to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Hope for a Cure

"We didn't just build the cancer center for the patients of today," says Alan Miller, MD, chief of oncology, Baylor Health Care System and medical director of Baylor Sammons Cancer Center. "This place also is for the patients of tomorrow, which is why research and education are such major components of this facility."  

This summer the cancer center is opening the Innovative Clinical Trials Center (ICTC).  The ICTC is dedicated to bringing some of the more promising clinical trials, particularly Phase I trials, to Baylor Dallas. Dr. Miller says it will match patients whose cancer has resisted standard treatments with a trial that could offer additional hope.

The new cancer center will also attract additional top-notch physicians and researchers to Baylor Dallas.  Already recruited is Daniel Von Hoff, MD, a renowned cancer researcher who served on President George W. Bush's National Cancer Advisory Board and has helped develop more than 200 cancer drugs.  Dr. Von Hoff will help develop the ICTC.

"While Baylor Dallas is already Texas' second-leading cancer care provider in terms of the number of cases treated each year, the new Baylor Sammons Cancer Center will be able to provide North Texas and beyond greater access to  research, clinical trials, education, and support," said McWhorter.  "The new cancer center has already made it easier to recruit nationally recognized scientists and physicians who share our goal of becoming a destination cancer center."

In addition, the cancer center will also provide a new home for Baylor University Medical Center's medical oncology fellowship program dedicated to training tomorrow's leading oncologists.

Treating the Whole Patient

Besides having what it takes to heal the body, Baylor Sammons Cancer Center is home to a bevy of support programs that help patients and families manage the emotional and psychological toll of cancer.

Donna Bowers, vice president of oncology for BHCS and a breast cancer survivor oversaw the design of the new cancer center.  "Providing comprehensive care means looking out for the well-being of the mind and spirit as well," she says.  "That's why we have put a lot of effort into developing innovative support resources that can help ease the road to cancer survivorship."

The Integrative Medicine program addresses the nutritional, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the cancer patient during their journey from diagnosis to recovery.

"Integrative medicine uses therapies that in some cases have been around for thousands of years, like acupuncture, massage and special diets," explains Bowers.  "It doesn't detract at all from the quality modern medicine practiced at the center, but rather adds to it."

The Virginia R. Cvetco Patient Education Center provides a cancer research library and a demonstration kitchen for cancer patients and their families.  Ernie's Appearance Center offers an expanded selection of specialty cancer products, making it easier for patients to get what they need without having to shop all over town.

Coordinating both the medical and non-medical aspects of each patient's individualized treatment plan is a patient navigator who is a registered nurse.  The patient navigator provides one-on-one assistance to each patient, helping schedule appointments, deal with insurance companies and answer non-medical questions related to their care.

The new Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, an outpatient facility, is just part of the $350-million project on the Baylor Dallas campus that includes a new parking garage and North Texas' first dedicated cancer hospital scheduled to open in 2013.

About Baylor Health Care System

Baylor Health Care System is a not-for-profit, faith-based supporting organization providing services to a network of acute care hospitals and related health care entities that provide patient care, medical education, research and community service. Baylor entities recorded more than 2.6 million patient encounters, $3.8 billion in total operating revenue, $4.4 billion in total assets and $513.5 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2010.  Baylor's network of more than 260 access points includes 26 owned/operated/ ventured/affiliated hospitals, 23 joint ventured ambulatory surgical centers, 50 satellite outpatient locations, four senior centers and 156 HealthTexas Provider Network physician clinics.

SOURCE Baylor Health Care System