Yumans invited to help plan cancer care
What would you like to see in a cancer care center?
Preliminary plans for a future cancer care center in Yuma call for a healing garden, education center and patient navigators to provide physical and emotional support.
But Yuma Regional Medical Center is inviting Yumans to be part of the design team that will complete the dream. In an initiative called “Dream Big,” YRMC asks community members to share their dreams of what they would like in cancer care center in Yuma.
YRMC will break ground for the new center in the spring. The hospital plans to build a comprehensive 30,000-square-foot facility with the latest diagnostics and treatment capabilities.
But the details on programs and services have not been finalized, giving residents a chance to chime in on what they would like.
Dr. Gregory Yang, Yuma Regional Cancer Center medical director, said the community's ideas will be blended with YRMC's plans for a cancer center program as it wraps up its plans over the next few months. Yumans can offer their feedback by visiting www.yumaregional.org/dream.
“Everyone's life is touched by cancer at some point, in some way,” Yang said. “We want to turn our community's dreams for cancer care into reality, right here in Yuma.”
The hospital's wishes are for a program “that adapts continually to the latest advances in cancer care, with strong connections to genetics research and the targeted, personalized therapies that develop as a result,” according to a statement issued by YRMC.
The “Dream Big” initiative was launched earlier this month during the Bridget's Gift concert starring country western singer Chris Cagle, benefiting the YRMC Foundation.
The YRMC Community Cancer Center Board has been leading efforts to develop the cancer program where all patients can received the services they need under one roof. This would include testing and treatments they now travel to Phoenix or Tucson to receive.
But the program will offer more than cancer treatment. Patients and families will also have access to emotional and physical support, education and guidance, said CEO Pat Walz.
The program will be affiliated with the University of Arizona, Walz said, which will “allow screening and access to trials here in the community rather than going to Tucson.”.
Walz said the hope is to have the cancer center ready to serve patients by the fall of 2013 or the spring of 2014.
In the meantime, YRMC acquired Sonoran Desert Oncology, 1320 W. 24th St., and renamed it Yuma Regional Cancer Center.
Mara Knaub can be reached at email@example.com or (928) 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.
“Everyone's life is touched by cancer at some point, in some way. We want to turn our community's dreams for cancer care into reality, right here in Yuma.”
Dr. Gregory Yang, Yuma Regional Cancer Center medical director