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A Decade of Hope & Healing in Cancer Care 2011


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From the Desk of Dr. Ronald Stephens

Dear Friends, On behalf of everyone at Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH), welcome to a brand new decade of hope and healing at The Oncology Center. It’s been an incredible decade so far, and thanks to the immeasurable dedication and expertise of our entire cancer care team, I can assure you the best is yet to come. Often we hear patients say their lives have been blessed by the compassionate cancer care they received at LMH. This, of course, is music to our ears. It’s also very humbling because we know something many of them do not: they improve our lives in extraordinary ways, too. Every day our patients give us new reasons to love what we do and strive to do even more. Their courage is uplifting. Their resolve is amazing. Their love for family and friends is deeply heartening, and their passion for life is endlessly inspiring. At The Oncology Center, our hearts and minds are fixed firmly on fighting cancer today and tomorrow. As we celebrate the Center’s

Dr. Ronald Stephens consults with a patient at the Center.

first decade anniversary, however, we want to share snapshots from the remarkable road we’ve taken with our patients over the years.

Although words and pictures alone cannot convey the true spirit of what happens here, this report illustrates our most important strides and how we became a leader in cancer care for this community. To our fellow physicians in and around Lawrence, we appreciate the efforts you’ve taken on behalf of your patients and encourage you to explore this report and become better acquainted with the life-saving options available at LMH. To our supporters, we aim to fulfill your vision for The Oncology Center by demonstrating our achievements and efforts to provide exceptional care every day. And to our patients and your families, we hope the heartfelt words inside these pages pay proper homage to your journeys and the bonds we formed while fighting cancer together.Your lives give us hope for a future with no cancer. Best regards,

Ronald Stephens, MD, MA Medical Director The Oncology Center at LMH

Table of Contents

2 Know Our Legacy in Cancer Care

4 Know the State of Cancer

5 Know Your Risks

6 Know Your Options

8 Know Our Team Approach

10 Know the Difference We Make

12 Know You’re Not Alone

14 Know Our Cancer Care Experts


Know Our Legacy in Cancer Care Origins of Oncology Care at LMH Throughout Kansas and Lawrence, cancer care has made tremendous strides over the last decade. For our local community, what began as a solo practice has evolved into something many patients now describe as larger than life: The Oncology Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH). To truly grasp this evolution and how instrumental the people of LMH and The Oncology Center have been within the community, our story begins in 1983. Of course, it’s not just our story. It’s also their story, and yours. It’s the combined tales of everyone whose life has been touched or taken by cancer. In today’s world, that means many of us. But in tomorrow’s world, it doesn’t have to mean any of us.


Stories of Survival, Faces of Courage – narratives of cancer survivors at LMH adorn the hall that leads to The Oncology Center.

Cancer Care in Lawrence: The Early Years In 1983, Dr. Matthew Stein joined a private internal medicine practice in Lawrence. His officebased oncology and hematology practice continued as the only one of its kind in the community for 13 years. Starting in 1996, he continued to treat all his existing oncology and hematology patients, while new patients saw part-time visiting oncologists from Topeka and Kansas City, or they traveled outside Lawrence for cancer care. Concerned by the ill effects travel might have on the overall efficacy of cancer care for the residents of its community, LMH officials soon recognized an important void to fill. In 2000, they set progress in motion. Moving Forward, One Big Stride at a Time Our hospital handpicked Dr. Ronald Stephens, a highly esteemed, board certified oncologist who came to LMH for one reason: to develop a cancer diagnosis and treatment program that could benefit the entire region. Soon after recruiting Dr. Stephens, the existing GI clinic moved to LMH South to provide space for the oncology program. The Oncology Center began with three outpatient treatment rooms, five exam rooms and a modest office area for charting and dictation. The first patient was seen on May 3, 2000, and notable expansion occurred within our first year. By the time we officially opened on January 1, 2001, Dr. Stein had joined the Center, greatly increasing our service to patients and providing 24-hour call coverage. Dr. Stephens’ plans for expansion continued. By 2002, we had an onsite pharmacy, staffed by a Doctor of Pharmacy with specialized training in oncology. Later that year, the Center was renovated for the addition of radiation oncology – administered by Lawrence Cancer Center – and construction began on a new addition to the building.

Dr. Ronald Stephens (right) visits with Mavis Smith (left) during her treatment. The expansion was funded with proceeds from the 2001 Hearts of Gold Ball, and the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association has been a generous supporter of The Oncology Center through the years. In 2003, Dr. Sharon Soule joined the oncology staff, and in 2004 the Center began offering genetic testing services for people with elevated cancer risks due to hereditary factors. By 2006, the expanded Center opened with 15 private treatment rooms, 10 exam rooms, one procedure room and four nursing stations. Patient volume continued to grow steadily as the number of patients traveling outside Lawrence for treatment declined. In response, the front office and chart room were also expanded, and the pharmacy was remodeled to include additional pharmacy staff. The Oncology Center now sees more than 600 new oncology and hematology patients every year. To provide the relaxation, security and privacy our patients deserve, all treatment rooms are equipped with comfortable recliners, televisions with DVD players, nurse call response systems and additional seating for visitors and guests. Our comprehensive suite of oncology care services is described in greater detail throughout this report.


Know the State of Cancer The Oncology Center Has National Reach

Fighting Cancer in Kansas Together


Where our patients come from (nationally), 2001-2011.

We Touch the Lives of Kansans Statewide Cheyenne













Atchison Sherman














Ellsworth Greeley






Barton Rice
















Geary Saline







Shawnee Wabaunsee Osage







Lyon Marion








Butler Wilson


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Edwards Gray Stanton




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Where our patients come from (statewide), 2001-2011.

Diagnoses with Declining Cancer Deaths in Kansas (Estimated) * 600 500 2001 2006 2011

400 300 200 100 0



Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

* Source: American Cancer Society (ACS). ACS used a different formula for estimation in 2001 than in 2006 and 2011.


Over the past ten years, we have had patients from 30 states coast to coast, but our largest concentration of cancer patients comes from Kansas (5,085). According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, national demand for oncology services is expected to increase by approximately 48 percent between now and 2020. The anticipated increase in the aging population will drive tremendous growth in cancer care over the next decade. With LMH’s expert team of board certified oncologists and hematologists, oncology certified nurses, onsite pharmacy staff, front office support staff, social workers and invaluable volunteers, we are poised and prepared to accommodate growing demand in Kansas. One of the many ways we will continue to meet the cancer care needs of this community is to pay close attention to risk and prevalence estimates. We look to prevalence statistics to help us better understand the probability of certain diagnoses and the services our patients will need in the future. Data from the American Cancer Society shows decreasing deaths from breast cancer, colorectal cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Kansas, as shown in the chart to the left. These declines are in part due to improved treatments for these diseases, as well as increasing attention to early screening by primary care physicians throughout Kansas.

Know Your Risks The Power of Early Detection Screening for Cancer at LMH Through sophisticated diagnostic technology and pathology, specialists at The Oncology Center can detect many cancers and risks before they grow and spread. Early detection for patients typically translates to higher survival rates and fewer side effects. Nationally, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women (affecting one in every eight); locally, it is The Oncology Center’s most frequent diagnosis. Breast cancer can quickly become a devastating disease, but when found early, the survival rate at five years ranges from 88 to 93 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. Much of the credit for our Center’s achievements in early detection through mammography belongs to the esteemed Breast Center at LMH, our partner in the fight against breast cancer.

Other routine cancer screenings provided at LMH or primary care practices: • Pap tests and viral HPV testing (cervical cancer) • PSA tests (prostate cancer) • Endoscopies (colorectal cancer, stomach and

pancreatic cancer)

• Fecal Occult Blood Tests (colon cancer) • Skin exams (melanomas)

How Screening Saves Lives: Ginger’s Story If Ginger had only one thing to tell people who haven’t had cancer, it would be this: “Don’t wait—get screened on time, every time.” She speaks from experience. Ginger is a breast cancer survivor, and she credits her successful fight against the disease to routine mammography. Because her tumor was detected early through a regularly scheduled screening, the odds were in her favor from day one. Ginger’s treatment began in 2001 with a partial mastectomy (more than a lumpectomy, she explains, but not a full mastectomy). After recovery she began a threemonth cycle of chemotherapy, followed by 32 radiation treatments, followed by three more months of chemo. It worked. Ten years after her diagnosis, Ginger still celebrates her cancer-free status by volunteering at the Center and Ginger Hamm (above) at her home in Lawrence. spreading hope to every patient she encounters. “I tell them, ‘I’ve sat where you’re sitting,’ and it’s like a light comes on for them,” she says. “I can literally see hope hedging in when they realize they may get to say the same thing to someone else one day.” It’s a simple statement, she says, but it speaks volumes. Being a volunteer at LMH enables Ginger to help those with cancer and without. By serving as living proof that routine screening can save lives, she empowers others to be their own health advocates. Whether it’s cancer treatment or cancer screening, Ginger says, “If you’re at LMH, you’re in the right place.”


Know Your Options Gaining Ground with Clinical Research Trials Clinical research trials are studies that help determine ways to improve healthcare by comparing new research therapies against standard treatments. Each study aims to answer scientific questions and shed light on new prevention, diagnosis and therapy methods. The Oncology Center at LMH started providing advanced cancer therapies through clinical research trials in 2003. In 2009, we partnered with the Wichita Community Clinical Oncology Program to gain greater access to clinical trials for a number of different cancer types. Through local access to investigational therapies not available elsewhere in northeast Kansas or northwest Missouri, clinical research trials offer advanced treatment options that may be less toxic, more effective and/or easier to manage. Because The Oncology Center’s treatment portfolio now includes more than 150 clinical research trials (all approved by the National Cancer Institute), today we offer more advanced therapy options than ever before. Patients routinely come to LMH from Topeka and Kansas City – and further – to take part in trial studies not available in their communities.


A pharmacy technician, Cara Seltsam, mixes chemotherapy drugs at the Center’s onsite pharmacy.

What are Community Clinical Oncology Programs? In order to deliver state-of-the-art cancer research to local communities throughout the United States, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) created and began funding Community Clinical Oncology Programs, or CCOPs, in 1983. Through these CCOP cooperatives, NCI continues to bring national research therapies to regional communities, thereby reducing the need for patients to travel long distances for clinical trials.

“I can’t overemphasize how nice it was to get what I needed right here in Lawrence.”

– Clinton McClanahan

Clinical Trial Close to Home: Clinton’s Story In 2005, Clinton had recurring bouts with pneumonia. Concerned by its persistence, his primary care physician ordered a CT scan that revealed something much worse: Clinton had neuroendocrine cancer. The lower lobe of his left lung had to be removed immediately. Clinton, who works in Lawrence, initially sought treatment at another cancer center in Kansas. Due to Clinton McClanahan (above) at his workplace in Lawrence. the rare nature of his specific cancer type, however, his oncologist advised him to go to MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. Doctors there performed his surgery and monitored his condition for the next few years. In 2008, they detected small lesions on his liver; the following year, spots were visible on his spine as well. In January 2010, an MRI confirmed Clinton’s cancer had metastasized to his liver. Instead of surgery, Clinton’s doctors recommended a clinical research trial to stabilize the lesions on his liver. To participate in the trial, Clinton would need to travel from Lawrence to Houston every three weeks—or, much to his relief, he could participate at one other facility instead: LMH. Soon Clinton began treatment in Lawrence, close to the only place he really wanted to be…home. Like many others, he was initially surprised to learn that such advanced therapies were available at LMH. Something else impressed him as well: Clinton says before coming to LMH, his patient experience felt purely clinical from start to finish. “I had a very good experience at LMH’s Oncology Center,” he says. “The nurses were really caring and helpful, and I can’t overemphasize how nice it was to get what I needed right here in Lawrence.”


Know Our Team Approach Coordinated Care for Optimal Outcomes At The Oncology Center, we use a multidisciplinary care model to develop individualized treatment plans. Our care plans include input from all relevant specialties, as well as counseling and dialogue with each patient to address personal needs and objectives. Our specialists also maintain communication with each patient’s primary care physician. Tumor Conferences Every week, The Oncology Center hosts an interdisciplinary tumor conference at LMH. These interactive forums bring physicians together across several specialties – medical and radiation oncology, surgery (general and sub-specialties), pathology, radiology and others – to evaluate complex patient cases and develop individualized and coordinated treatment plans.


Dr. Sharon Soule consults with her colleagues at the Center.

Comprehensive Care In addition to advanced therapies like clinical trials, standard treatments at The Oncology Center include chemotherapy, immunotherapy and blood transfusions. Radiation therapy is provided by Dr. Darren Klish next door at the Lawrence Cancer Center. With assistance from LMH colleagues representing an assortment of specialties, we also provide the following programs and procedures: • Psychosocial services • Genetic risk testing and counseling • Hormone therapy • Nutritional counseling • Growth factor support • Surgical care • Lymphedema management • Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration • Hematology • Therapeutic phlebotomy • Targeted therapy • Onsite lab draw station • Imaging services Genetic Risk Assessment As an extension of our comprehensive cancer care approach, The Oncology Center at LMH offers hereditary cancer risk assessments to help identify individuals appropriate for genetic testing. People from hereditary cancer families have greater cancer risks than the general population. While only five to ten percent of all cancers are considered hereditary, identifying individuals and families with an inherited gene mutation can help direct their medical management and appropriate screening options. We currently test for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (which causes an increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer) and Lynch Syndrome (which causes an increased risk for early onset colorectal cancer, along with several other cancer types including endometrial, stomach and ovarian).

The Center’s two social workers – Liv Frost (left) and Dona Snead (right) – discuss patient cases.

“At the LMH Oncology Center, we use the latest

technology to care for our patients. What makes

us unique is how our physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers genuinely care about our patients and their families.”

– Dr. Sharon Soule, Oncologist/Hematologist The Oncology Center at LMH


Know the Difference We Make Our Standards of Excellence,Your Quality Care Quality in patient care is measured and experienced in many ways. We continually exceed national standards of quality in healthcare and challenge ourselves to the highest levels of performance possible. We assure that patient care is supported by the latest evidence-based literature, the best medical knowledge and experience, advanced technology and a staff known for tremendous skill and kindness. Our physicians regularly consult with evidence-based treatment guidelines published by leading cancer organizations like the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Tapping into evidencebased findings keeps our staff on top of new developments to improve the quality of care for our patients. In addition to offering our patients hope and healing, we also strive to treat people like family. Recent patient satisfaction scores tell us our patients appreciate the effective mix of compassion and professionalism we provide. According to recent data from HealthStream Research, the national organization that conducts satisfaction and market studies for LMH, 100 percent of our patients say they are likely to refer others to The Oncology Center. *

* HealthStream Research, Patient Insights, First and Second Quarter 2011


Jeanne Ogle, a registered nurse, chats with a patient at the Center.

Growing Forward in Cancer Care Cancer patients in and around Lawrence don’t need to travel inconvenient distances for advanced oncology and hematology services. Since we opened our doors a decade ago, The Oncology Center has been a place of hope and healing for many. We provide exceptional patient care in a safe and comfortable environment, close to home. Two additional oncologists/hematologists recently joined our staff at the Center. Dr. Michelle Affield came on board in November 2010, and Dr. Luke Huerter joined us in August 2011 (meet our entire staff on pages 14-15). Together with the rest of our cancer care team, these new specialists keep a steady focus on current developments and future challenges as we embark on our second decade of cancer care.

Dr. Luke Huerter (left) meets with registered nurse, Stephanie Norris (right).

“The Oncology Center provides all the services

a patient needs to get great oncology care. The support we have from LMH’s radiology,

pathology and surgical teams is absolutely

amazing. We take excellent care of our patients, and we put their comfort first.”

– Dr. Michelle Affield, Oncologist/Hematologist The Oncology Center at LMH

Dr. Michelle Affield reviews and updates information between patient visits.


Know You’re Not Alone Emotional Impact: LMH Community Support No one cares more about the well-being of our community than LMH. To promote good health, The Oncology Center offers several support programs and cancer community resources. Support Groups and Survivorship Programs To provide encouragement, information and assistance with the emotional side of cancer, we host and promote an array of programs where patients and loved ones can find words of comfort and strength in numbers. Some of the most commonly attended programs include: • CLIMB® (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) helps children whose parents or grandparents have been diagnosed with cancer. • Bosom Buddies Breast Cancer Support Group provides emotional and educational assistance for women fighting breast cancer and/or lymphedema. • Man to Man® offers educational support for men with prostate cancer and their families. • Look Good, Feel Better offers guidance and support for patients facing hair loss and skin damage from cancer treatment. • I Can Cope educates adults struggling with cancer, either personally or on behalf of a loved one. Chaplain services are also available for those who seek spiritual or emotional support and guidance.


Quilts decorate the Center with messages of hope and healing.

Mario’s Closet: Reviving Hope. Renewing Confidence. In July 2011, LMH hosted a very special ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Mario’s Closet. Nestled in the hospital’s main lobby near The Oncology Center, Mario’s Closet is the only shop of its kind in Lawrence. Inside the boutique men and women find renewed confidence and hope through affordable solutions that target the physical effects of cancer treatment. In addition to salon and cosmetology services, the shop offers wigs, hats, scarves, prosthetics, skin care products, books and more for cancer patients and survivors. This unique and highly specialized shop is a gift to the local cancer community from the Mario V. Chalmers Foundation and the LMH Endowment Association.

“They make such a difference – a powerfully positive difference – and it’s a source of comfort for me to be a part of that.”

– Dianna Nelson

Volunteering to Give Back: Dianna’s Story When Dianna had a breast cancer recurrence in 2004, two years after she felt a lump and received her initial diagnosis, she decided life is too short to keep a full-time job she didn’t need. She had other plans for her time: volunteering at LMH. Since then, Dianna has helped the LMH cancer team care for hundreds of patients. As a volunteer she spends one day a week at The Oncology Center, another at Mario’s Closet, and yet another at one of LMH’s main entrance desks. She Dianna Nelson (above) volunteering at Mario’s Closet at LMH. is on the committees for Relay for Life (the American Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser) and LMH’s annual ‘Stepping Out Against Breast Cancer’ event, which is now in its nineteenth year. She is also a long-time member of the Bosom Buddies support group. When asked about Mario’s Closet, Dianna beams with joy that new image enhancements are available to today’s cancer patients in Lawrence. “When I was in treatment here several years ago, there was only a tiny shop with a few unappealing head wraps,” she says. “Mario’s Closet is the exact opposite. Some of our customers aren’t even dealing with cancer treatment or hair loss—they just like the fashionable scarves and other accessories we offer.” Dianna says the care she received as a patient at the Center continues to inspire her as a volunteer. “They make such a difference—a powerfully positive difference—and it’s a source of comfort for me to be a part of that,” she explains, recalling how chaos subsided to comfort the moment she started receiving treatment at the Center. Right away, she felt very safe, and she’s doing her part to make sure everyone who comes through the doors at The Oncology Center feels exactly the same way.


Know Our Cancer Care Experts Our Doctors Ronald L. Stephens, MD, MA Dr. Stephens is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas (KU), where he also completed his internal medicine residency and a hematology fellowship; soon after, he completed an oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. Before becoming medical director of The Oncology Center at LMH, Dr. Stephens was on the faculty at KU School of Medicine for 24 years and served as Director of Clinical Oncology for much of that time.

Dr. Affield is board certified in medical oncology, internal medicine, hematology, hospice and palliative medicine. She received her medical degree from KU and completed an internship in internal medicine at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Affield went on to complete her internal medicine residency and hematology/ oncology fellowship at KU. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in palliative medicine at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care.

Luke M. Huerter, MD

Matthew N. Stein, MD Dr. Stein is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, and completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowships in oncology and hematology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Sharon E. Soule, MD Dr. Soule is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. After earning her medical degree from KU, she completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Indiana University. While in Indiana, she was a member of the Breast Cancer Program, and her research focused on breast cancer treatment. She also served as Director of Medical Oncology at Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.


Michelle Affield, MD

The newest member of our physician team is Dr. Huerter, who joined The Oncology Center at LMH in 2011. Dr. Huerter is board certified in internal medicine and board eligible in medical oncology. A graduateof KU School of Medicine, he returned to Lawrence after completing a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics, where he also completed his residency in 2009.

Karen L. Finkbiner, Pharm.D., R.Ph. Dr. Finkbiner has been The Oncology Center’s Pharmacy Coordinator since 2001. After completing her doctorate degree from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Kansas in 1992, Dr. Finkbiner went to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to complete her residency in pharmacy practice and another in oncology pharmacy.

Our Managers, Nurses, Social Workers and Ancillary Support Staff Our Nurses We are proud to have a nursing team that consists of oncology certified professionals. Every nurse at The Oncology Center has completed or is in the process of completing the nationally recognized oncology certification. Lisa Baker, RN, BSN Vicki Booth, RN, BSN, OCN Jyl Haynes, RN, BSN, OCN Jana Farmer, CPC Manager, Oncology Services

Linda Hughes, RN, BSN Christine Klotz, RN, BSN, OCN Suzanne McGinn, RN, BSN, OCN Deborah McNemee, RN, BSN, OCN Nancy Meyer, RN, OCN Shari Mott, RN, OCN Stephanie Norris, RN, OCN Jeanne Ogle, RN, BSN, OCN Michele Prager, RN, BSN, OCN Jami Tomlinson, RN Joan Toot, RN, MSN, OCN Our Social Workers

Julie McElhaney-Tuley, RN, BSN, OCN Clinical Coordinator

Liv Frost, LMSW Dona M. Snead, LSCSW Our Support Staff Jill Jordan, Office Coordinator Gloria VanPelt, ASCP, Certified Senior Lab Assistant Mary Dixon Judy Gilliland Lori Hathaway, CPCA Janice Stumpff, CPC Our Volunteers

Jodi Carlson, RN, BSN, OCN Clinical Research Coordinator

Volunteers at The Oncology Center live up to their motto: they “pamper the patients and support the staff.” Besides prepping rooms, providing snacks, transporting patients and other helpful activities, these selfless individuals – some of whom are former patients and cancer survivors – also lend a compassionate ear and a shoulder to cry on for anyone who needs it.

Many patients say having medical professionals who are also “hometown people” is a big source of comfort to them. Hometown care, they say, gives them the winning leverage that comes with being an insider. It fills their reserves of inner strength.


At LMH, We Know Cancer


“The next generation of caregivers at The

Oncology Center is comprised of extremely

talented and innovative physicians – some of the most inspired oncologists in the country.

Their vision will take us through and beyond the next decade.”

– Dr. Ronald Stephens Medical Director The Oncology Center at LMH 330 Arkansas, Suite 105, Lawrence, KS 66044 785.505.2800

Lawrence Memorial Hospital does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender or sexual orientation in providing services to patients or the public, nor in relation to employment practices.

A Decade of Hope & Healing in Cancer Care  

The Oncology Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital celebrates 10 years of Oncology services.