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KU Cancer Center director visits Hays Med

7/19/2012

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Dr. Roy Jensen, director of the University of Kansas Cancer Center in Kansas City, Kan., visited Dreiling/Schmidt Cancer Institute at Hays Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon.

The Hays stop was part of a statewide tour visiting members of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, according to Gayla Wichman, Hays Med director of marketing.

The MCA is "the outreach arm of the KU Cancer Center," Jensen said.

It helps put on screening and prevention programs, and provides a consultation service via interactive video conferences over the Internet.

"We started the MCA around the idea we don't want to be the destination for patients across Kansas," he said. "We want to project the cancer center out to the patients and where they are."

That includes providing the infrastructure that allows the cancer center here to do clinical trials.

Jensen said Dreiling/Schmidt Cancer Institute has been active in recruiting, including Dr. Anne O'Dea, who specializes in breast cancer, and putting patients on clinical trials.

"If a patient's first line of therapy is not successful, the next step is to get that patient on a clinical trial to give that patient the best option for success there."

It was announced last week the KU Cancer Center had earned the National Cancer Institute designation.

"We had been working for that for quite some time," Jensen said.

The designation had been a goal of the center since 2002, and Jensen started the process for the designation when he came in 2004.

"We're delighted to have Hays Medical Center on board with this initiative," Jensen said. "What's coming up is our drive to become a comprehensive cancer center. That's going to involve an even bigger expansion of the MCA, and we're delighted to be able to work with you (Hays Med) and make our relationship."

Bryce Young, Hays Med chief operating officer, asked about future plans.

"We'll work to continue our cancer prevention and control efforts," Jensen said. "We believe the NCI has given us the responsibility of impacting the quality of care, and the incidence of cancer, and the mortality from cancer all across the state no matter where patients are treated. We want to work with Hays Medical Center and our other partners to make sure we're doing everything we can to minimize the number of cancer cases, get the absolute best outcomes, and do that in a way which is convenient for patients, so they don't have to travel to Kansas City."