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Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center – College Station Brings Care Where it's Needed Most

Navigating the path through cancer treatments can be difficult enough, without having to add a long commute to receive trusted, quality care.

When Preston Thomas, age 75, moved to Iola, Texas, two years ago from Katy, Texas, outside of Houston, he feared he would need to travel long distances to receive the care he needed for his prostate cancer. A retired independent trucker, Thomas is required to receive radiation five days a week.

Quality, compassionate care close to home

Timing was everything in Thomas' case, as the radiation oncology services at Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center – College Station became available just as he was receiving his diagnosis and treatment plan. Thomas became one of the first patients to be treated at the center, having now visited more than 25 days in a row. He still has more than a dozen treatments remaining.

"Going into Houston or Temple for me is 100 miles either way," Thomas said. "I go to the center every day for radiation treatment. If I had to make a commute daily, I wouldn't be able to afford it."

Connected to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – College Station, Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center – College Station will be showcased to the public on Wednesday, Feb. 22. The new center adds radiation oncology to the medical and surgical oncology services that have been offered at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – College Station since its opening three years ago. Completion of the cancer center provides a single location for diagnostics, treatments and support services, all supported by a single electronic medical record. This significantly increases the level of cancer care available in the Brazos Valley, allowing more patients more opportunities to receive all of their treatments at one location.

Not only does Thomas enjoy receiving his care close to home, he notes the friendly staff as a big draw to receiving care at Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center – College Station. "Every care team member here is exceptional," he said. In particular, he has grown close to Amber Reed, RN, director of the cancer center.

"Amber and the whole staff has made my experience better," Thomas said. "She treats me like she's my daughter. She sees me, she talks to me – she makes you feel a heck of a lot better and always has a smile on her face."

With a certification in both oncology and breast cancer, Reed sees the importance every day for patients to be able to receive care when and where they need it.

"I love my patients and it's very important that they have the opportunity to get care under one roof," Reed said. "Mr. Thomas is amazing, and we can tell that him being able to receive care here is easier not only for him but for his support system."

Physician staff for Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center – College Station are medical oncologists Juddi Yeh, MD, and Grace Akinyi-Joseph, MD, along with radiation oncologist Bobby Bains, MD.

A health care team that leads by example

By receiving his care from Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center – College Station, Thomas is getting treatment from a system that is committed to cancer care and prevention. Baylor Scott & White Health is a CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ employer, meaning the system has dedicated itself to an overall healthier workplace. The organization does not hire those who use tobacco, encourages a balanced diet and provides the tools and resources for cancer risk reduction, early detection, high-quality care and more.

Reed has been a nurse for 18 years and in the Baylor Scott & White Health system for six months. The team she leads at the new cancer center consists of: Amber Reed, BSN, RN, OCN, CBCN, CHPCA; Amy Davis, RT (T); Jorge Aparicio, RT (T); Karen Skains, RT (T); Andrew McVicker, MS; Madison Clark, PSS; Sarah Beebe, LMSW; Jacqueline Hearne, Registrar; Marissa Broadhurst, Counselor; and Marti Fowler, Manager are all excited to have the complete cancer care continuum available to their patients.

A new home for hope

Thomas was among the more than 60 people who visited Baylor Scott & White Cancer Center – College Station on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, the day of the official ribbon cutting. "I thought it was a good event," said Thomas. 

"With the opening of this cancer center, Baylor Scott & White renews its commitment to the communities of the Brazos Valley to bring the latest in diagnosis, research and treatment of cancer to residents so that their cancer battle can be fought close to home," said Jason Jennings, president, Baylor Scott & White – College Station Region.

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