MedWatch Today: Community Cancer Institute celebrates being open for one year

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Happy one year anniversary to the Community Cancer Institute. The state of the art facility has helped thousands of patients in the Central Valley receive the cancer care they need, without having to travel out of the area.

On August 1st, there was a celebration of hope and healing. The Community Cancer Institute celebrated it’s one year anniversary. Jill Kienow is the Director of Cancer Services, and she reflects on the opening of the building one year ago.

“I would say a project of the heart for us because we really knew the need was just huge in the community for cancer patients to not have to travel out of the area to receive their cancer care,” stated Jill.

The Community Cancer Institute is Central California’s premier comprehensive cancer care center, and the only one in the area with many outpatient services in a single location – meaning patients can stay close to home and get the best treatment available.

Tracy Morgan is a breast cancer survivor who had received care at Community Cancer Institute. She said, “You have so many other things to think about when you have cancer that you don’t want to have to think about, ‘Oh I’ve got to get here at this time, or I need to be over across town for radiation’… I went through chemo. I did my radiation here, my oncologist is here.”

She credits her positive prognosis to the great care she received at Community Cancer Institute.

“Basically it became kind of like a home, you know? I was here every week, and see the same people. You get to be friends with your nurses, you know the staff for your oncologists, the people at the door know you,” commented Tracy.

Jill added, “I’ve said to multiple people over the last few months, I really feel like this is holy work, to be able to be involved in a project like opening and keeping open the Community Cancer Institute to impact lives for our local people. It’s just a privilege.”

Jill said the Institute wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of the community. Generous donors, like Howe Electric Construction, Wells Fargo Bank, and Carl and Lulu Mitchell, have helped the facility grow.

“We’ve had a couple of very large donations, multi-million dollar donations, which is wonderful. We’re very, very grateful for those donors,” Jill stated.

Dealing with cancer can be emotional and challenging for the patient and their families. That’s why Jill said they have specialized support services form an integrated network to support the patient.

“And we also have nurse navigators who really help. Patients sometimes call them the glue, they’re that one person that they can contact if they have a question or a concern, somebody who really helps coordinate care for them and is a support,” Jill said.

In the last year, there have been more than 80,000 patient visits. Tracy is grateful for every single one of hers.

She said, “If you are unfortunate enough to get cancer, to come here, because everything is under one roof.”

Jill said she looks forward to the future of the Institute.

“We’re still working on making things better and we work hard every day, based on input from patients, good and not so good, and continuing to make our program the best it can be,” ended Jill.

We congratulate the doctors, medical staff, and support team at Community Cancer Institute for their hard work and dedication in the last year, and for the years to come.

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