Knight Cancer Institute aims to be ‘Amazon of patient care’

Health

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dr. Gordon Mills and others at the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU are working hard to make sure all patients get the best care no matter where they live.

“One of the challenges that we see today is getting access to the best care,” said Mills. “We know that the best outcome for a patient is when they get their care in the environment that they are used to in a strong social network.”

Instead of having patients travel to Portland for treatments, the team at OHSU will video conference with the patient’s care team and transport samples to research labs.

Dr. Gordon Mills with the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU in Portland, September 2019 (KOIN)

“We’re going to minimize the number of times they come here,” he said. “We’re really planning to become the Amazon of patient care. Just put (patient samples) on drones and have them flown here.”

The program is a game changer for the way cancer patients receive care. Precision Oncology Assistant Director Rochelle Williams-Belizaire said it will open up opportunities for patients to receive cutting edge treatments that are often geographically and financially out of reach.

“Cancer treatment has always looked at treating the cancer, treating the disease,” she said, “and evolved over time to looking at the entire patient.”

Precision Oncology Assistant Director Rochelle Williams-Belizaire at the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU in Portland, September 18, 2019 (KOIN)

Williams-Belizaire said clinical trials often force patients to travel long distances. But “being able to have that same benefit of care but very close to your home, to your family and to your entire care team, I think, really makes a difference.”

Their mission to increase the availability of groundbreaking treatments is a vital part of the Komen Foundation’s CARE Pillar.

“The Susan G. Komen CARE Pillar is really focusing on just that, is treating the whole patient,” she said.

“We really do have a goal here,” Mills told KOIN 6 News, “of changing the whole way in which we manage breast cancer.”

Join in the Komen More Than Pink Walk on Sunday, September 22, at 9 a.m. at Waterfront Park in downtown Portland.

Learn more and registerKomen More Than Pink Walk

A sign inside the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU in Portland, September 2019 (KOIN)

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