University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Collaboration Helps Cancer Patients in Our Community

By Christine Mack, Development Officer

Cancer. This word is difficult. It is difficult to say and difficult to hear. It is difficult to fight. When you are fighting the battle of your life, don’t you want to fight alongside the best team possible?

That is exactly the mentality that has driven the collaborative relationship at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center. The cancer center at Firelands operates under a unique, patient focused model that brings cutting-edge treatments to patients to allow them to remain as close to home as possible while fighting cancer with expert care. University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center operates as a community satellite, meaning that the physicians and staff run their own facility, but have access to all of the resources and academic expertise of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, says Kim Schreiner, Director of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center.

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical CenterDr. Amy Reese

“Everything we do here at Firelands conforms to the quality standards of UH in downtown Cleveland,” Schreiner says, “That means that every curative patient case we treat is reviewed by experts in the field at University Hospitals in collaboration with the recommendations of our own physicians, who are highly skilled themselves.”

This collaborative partnership with University Hospitals allows the physicians at Firelands to ask questions of physicians at University Hospitals who have specific expertise in all different types of cancer, ensuring accurate treatment plans every time.

“By allowing others to review our treatment plans, we not only come up with the best course of treatment for every patient, we also provide a ‘second opinion’ without having to send patients to Cleveland,” says Schreiner, “Several opinions are built into University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center’s model because that produces better outcomes for patients.”

Martin Tursky, former President and CEO of Firelands Regional Medical Center adds, “The UH model is unique in that it is built around collaboration to provide optimum cancer treatment for each and every patient. This allows our providers to be successful by leveraging the expertise and research of the larger academic medical center in the treatment plan for our patients locally.”

It is this “clinical integration” that Tursky and the staff at UH Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center believes makes a difference for patients in our community.

“Firelands and UH provide a systematic approach to cancer care that isn’t found in other cancer treatment programs that are silos of larger organizations,” Tursky comments. “Because of our affiliation with UH and, in part, because of donated funds, we’ve been able to build a truly state-of-the-art program.”

Firelands takes advantage of the academic nature of University Hospitals to provide excellent cancer care in a variety of ways. Not only is peer review built into cancer treatment and protocols, but patients who are eligible may also take advantage of clinical trials. This important research provides patients with access to emerging cancer treatments, provides choices for patients beyond the conventional treatment options and improves cancer treatment for the future. Clinical trials are being conducted on an ongoing basis at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center. Patients can rest assured that when they enter a trial, they will always receive the standard of care for their cancer, says Schreiner.

This means that patients will always be treated in addition to the treatment they receive within the clinical trial. Beyond collaborative care and clinical trials, Firelands has worked within the community to acquire technology that sets the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center apart from other centers.

“Patients have access to a state of-the-art PET/CT scanner, 3D mammography and the most advanced linear accelerator available for radiation therapy,” says Tursky. “In addition, our patient navigators and The Foundation for Firelands help people as they journey through cancer treatment every step of the way. At Firelands, we are focused on helping patients get the best care possible. By marrying all of these aspects together, we are able to take a whole person approach to treating cancer for every patient that walks through our doors.”

Those at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland agree that this partnership is invaluable to our community.

“We highly value the physicians, staff, and programming at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Medical Center. Drs. Reese, Zhao, Rashid, and Hadziahmetovic are highly engaged with colleagues across the SCC network,” said Nathan Levitan, M.D., President of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. “By working with Firelands Regional Medical Center, we are able to bring access to the latest therapy and clinical trials closer to home for the patients with cancer in the Sandusky region.”

Learn more about the cancer services provided at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center today.