The Cancer Survivorship Clinic, part of Wake Forest Baptist’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, celebrated its one-year anniversary and its 500th patient in summer 2020.
Cathy Way of Sophia, N.C., was the 500th patient in the clinic, which is dedicated to the physical and emotional care that cancer survivors require following their treatment.
Wake Forest Baptist has the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and is the only regional institution to have a dedicated cancer survivorship clinic space. The clinic serves patients across several areas including hematology and oncology, cardiothoracic surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, radiation oncology and pediatric hematology and oncology.
Clinic patients receive regular physical exams, monitoring for new or returning cancers, management of side effects, lifestyle coaching, access to survivorship research studies and information on community resources.
“This clinic is a vital part of our commitment to our patients, families, caregivers and loved ones who share the cancer journey,” said Stacy Wentworth, MD ’04, House Staff ’09, assistant professor of radiation oncology and director of the clinic. “Many survivors face physical and emotional issues after treatment that require long-term, follow-up care. Our dedicated survivorship team is by their side, supporting them every step of the way.”
In addition to addressing the medical needs of survivors, support for quality-of-life issues such as anxiety, depression, body image, relationships and returning to work is provided. Survivors are also able to share personal stories and develop supportive relationships with others who have gone through similar experiences.
Patients are referred to the survivorship clinic by their surgeon or oncologist, and visits are covered by most insurance plans.
“This clinic is really an innovative model that enhances the care that survivors receive after they finish treatment,” Wentworth said.
Wake Forest Baptist held its second virtual Dean’s Forum in July, with leading faculty members discussing “COVID-19 Strategies and Treatments.” Faculty shared how they have handled some of the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic and some of the research projects that are underway to learn more about the disease.
Presenters included Gary Rosenthal, MD, FACP, the Tinsley R. Harrison Chair of Internal Medicine and professor of Internal Medicine; David M. Herrington, MD, MHS, co-director of the Cardiovascular Sciences Center, the Dalton McMichael Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and vice chair for research in the Department of Internal Medicine; John Walton Sanders III, MD, MPH, section chief of Infectious Diseases; and Christopher A. Ohl, MD, professor of Infectious Diseases.
Wake Forest Baptist Health and iQ Healthtech Labs, the health system’s healthtech business enterprise based in the Innovation Quarter, launched a drone delivery service in July operated by UPS and its subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF), at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
The collaboration provides rapid delivery for time- and temperature-sensitive medical supplies as well as personal protective equipment to help keep Wake Forest Baptist’s health care providers safe and improve patient outcomes.
The effort marks the U.S. drone delivery industry’s first hub-and-spoke operating model, which launches drones from a central location to multiple locations. It enables UPSFF and Wake Forest Baptist to potentially add new delivery routes more efficiently than would be possible with a point-to-point delivery operation.
“Increasing efficiency of our supply chain routes helps provide better service to our patients and their families,” said Conrad Emmerich, chief supply chain officer for Wake Forest Baptist. “Partnering with UPS Flight Forward through our iQ Healthtech Labs opens new doors for us to do just that through drone delivery.”
Drones carry scheduled deliveries of specialty infusion medicines. Because these infusion medicines are patient-specific and high-cost, with a short shelf life, delivery by drone within 10 minutes is ideal. Individually compounded medicines are also delivered on demand for patients who need real-time access to treatments that are not commercially available.
Two grants from The Duke Endowment totaling $910,800 will support two new projects at Wake Forest Baptist Health that are focused on food insecure households and a home telemonitoring resource for patients discharged from the ICU recovery clinic.
The projects are:
- Food is Health, which aims to expand access to healthy food for children and families who are patients at Wake Forest Baptist and are experiencing food insecurity. It will establish an efficient approach to integrating and financing evidence-based, non-medical health care services that may be sustained through a combination of Medicaid, institutional and grant funding.
- The Post-ICU Telehealth Program, which will increase patient access, reduce financial concerns and transportation barriers and deliver certain care through video telehealth services while the patient is at home.
“We are very appreciative of this critical funding from The Duke Endowment,” said Lisa Marshall, Wake Forest Baptist’s chief philanthropy officer and vice president of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations. “With their philanthropic partnership for Food is Health, we are able to invest in improving the health of our most underserved and vulnerable community members. The post-ICU Telehealth Program investment allows us to model a new form of care that ultimately can transform the post-ICU experience for patients everywhere.”