Two southern Colorado hospitals — Penrose Saint Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs and Saint Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo — are now certified members of the MD Anderson cancer network.
This allows both hospitals to have access to better disease-specific treatment plans, best practices, and knowledge of expert doctors, as well as the ability to participate in select clinical trials.
“Patients can come to our center if it’s something that is rare and we don’t have the expertise with that disease or whatever it is the patient presents with,” said Natalie Myers, a supervisor with Penrose Radiation Oncology. “We now are an access point to go to MD Anderson. Our physicians can talk to their physicians our staff and our clinician work to obtain most optimal treatment protocol for these patients.”
To get this recognition, both hospitals had to go through rigorous requirements, including clinical reviews and on-site and off-site evaluations. The network only selects hospitals that meet those qualifications, and now, there are two hospitals that do in our backyard.
This means patients can avoid traveling for their cancer care and the costly expenses that go with it.
“Some of our patients physically struggle to move from the parking lot into our center,” Myers said. “To not have to travel state to state that provides severe discomfort to the patient.”
Though Saint Mary-Corwin has made big cuts in the last year, they say they’re making cancer care a priority. They will be fighting cancer conventionally with surgery and radiation but also with therapies like yoga, exercise programs, and spiritual support.