Focus of first annual Cancer Care Network symposium

November 15, 2013

The UC Davis Health System’s Cancer Care Network hosted the First Annual Cancer Care Network Symposium, bringing together medical professionals from the Cancer Care Network Affiliate Cancer Centers and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.  The focus of the symposium was centered around Synergy, Research, Interprofessionalism, and Quality.

“This was the first symposium to bring together staff from each network site for networking, education, and resource development,” said Kay Harse, manager of the network. “In the past we have been intricately involved with each cancer center providing support and resources, but this was an opportunity for the cancer center teams to interact with other staff and UC Davis as they look for ways to improve the quality of cancer care in their community.”

Ralph DeVere White, Director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center joined Scott Christensen, Director of the UC Davis Cancer Care Network in welcoming approximately 75 physicians, nurses, administrators, pharmacy specialists, clinical research staff, radiation therapists, and oncology support staff to the day-long event on UC Davis  Sacramento campus with a comprehensive look at re-engineering healthcare delivery while breaking barriers to beat cancer.  Dr. Christensen presented the highlights of the recently released Institute of Medicine report Delivering High Quality Cancer Care – Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis that puts patients as the primary focus to a coordinated cancer care team.

A representative from each of the affiliate cancer centers: Rideout Cancer Center, Marysville; Mercy Cancer Center, Merced; Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, Truckee; and AIS Cancer Center, Bakersfield  shared the strengths and challenges in community cancer care demonstrating the differences in rural cancer centers across the Network.  The presenters discussed rural patient concerns including transportation in poor mountain weather, unemployment, serving in an agricultural area, as well as successes with a dental program and multiple supportive care and community outreach events.

The Clinical Trials program is a key service of the network and the group discussed barriers to clinical trial enrollment in the community setting. Steve Swain, UC Davis clinical research coordinator for the network announced the launch of “14 in 2014”, an initiative to boost trial enrollment at each affiliate cancer center. The group also heard Brian Druker, M.D., professor of medicine, OHSU speak on molecular medicine during the Lois O’Grady Lectureship at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Heather Young, Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing, and Dean and Professor, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing provided a keynote address on Interprofessionalism and Quality which tied into the IOM report recommendation on the importance of a coordinated cancer care team.