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8PaysonhealthThoracicOncologyProgramTheThoracicOncologyProgramatConcordHospitalPaysonCenterforCancerCarehascomealongwayinveyears.ForConcord-arealungcancerpatientsthatmeanstheynolongerhavetotravelalongwayforcarenoneareleftontheirowntonavigatetheoverwhelmingroutetodiagnosisandtreatmentandallbenetfromthelatestintechnologyandtrainingthatmakediagnosisandtreatmentlessinvasivemorepreciseandoftenlesspainful.Before2008manyarearesidentstraveledelsewhereforlungcancerdiagnosisandtreatmentbecauseoptionsprovidedlocallywerelesscoordinatedandcouldvarywidely.ThoracicsurgeonDr.G.DarbyPopearrivedatConcordHospitalin2008settingagoalofdevelopingthoraciconcologyprogramprotocolsorpathwayssopatientscouldbeginseeingapredictableandcohesiveresponsetodiagnosingandtreatingtheirillness.Dr.PopeispleasedthePaysonCenterhasattracteddoctorswithapassionandspecialtrainingforthoraciccancercancersthataectthechestmostlylungcancer.Withtheexpansionofthethoracicprogramwenowhavetheexpertiseandequipmenttoperformhigh-techcomputer-guidedandroboticprocedurestodiagnoseandtreatlungcancersaidDr.Pope.ThePaysonCentersThoracicOncologyProgramstandsoutDr.Popesaidbecausethecareisprovidedbyaconsistentexperiencedteamofdedicatedpulmonologiststhoracicsurgeonsoncologistsandnurseswhichallowspatientstoreceivemorepersonalizedcarethantheymightexperienceatlargercenters.Ourpatientscanseethesamefaceseverydayhelpingthemfeelliketheyarepartofacommunityinsteadofgoingsomewhereelsebeingtreatedandleavinghesaid.OnefacemostpatientsseeisThoracicNurseNavigatorAnnieSi.Sheisapatientssupportsystemadvocateandeducatorfrompre-diagnosistodiagnosistreatmentsupportservicesandbeyondincludingend-of-lifecare.AtrstsheworkedprimarilywithDr.PopeandthoracicsurgicalpatientshoweverovertimeSihasbeenabletobroadenanddevelopherroletofullltheultimatevisionofathoracicnursenavigator.Shenowalsoaccompaniespatientswhentheyseepulmonologistsandoncologistshelpingprovideevenmorecoordinatedpatient-centeredcarewherepatientsaremoreactivepartnersintreatmentdecisions.Sifeelshonoredtoguidepatientsthroughaverystressfulandcomplicatedperiodhelpingthemunderstandandcopewithtreatmentplansthatarefarfromstraightforward.Manyincludeconsultationswithseveralprovidersandmultipletreatmentsoftenincludingsurgerychemotherapyandradiation.Dr.Popesaidprogressinprovidingamorecoordinatedapproachhasmovedtheprogramclosertohisgoalofbecomingacomprehensivethoraciccenterensuringthatprimarycarephysicianshaveatrustedpartnerandthatpatientsreceivethemostappropriatecarewithoutpotentialconfusionanddelay.Becausetherearesomanyoptionswhenagrowthisdiscoveredinapatientslungsomeprimarycarephysiciansarenotcertainofthebestnextstep.Dr.Popeenvisionsthatproviderswillrecognizetheprogramastheplacetoturnforacomprehensiveresponsethatdirectspatientsquicklytodiagnosisandtreatment.TowardthatendDr.Popebelievesthenextbigstepperhapswithinthenextyearwillbeprovidingscreeningforpatientsathigh-riskforlungcancerscreeningthatwouldenabledoctorstodetectcancersearlierandsavelives.IMAGEAlexandrMitiuciStockThinkstock.