Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center - AZ Business Magazine September/October 2011

Q&A Dr. Edgardo Rivera, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Edgardo Rivera of Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center brings more than medical excellence to his leadership role — he brings his own life experience with the disease. Dr. Rivera’s brother died from cancer and his father is currently fighting cancer. These personal experiences, Dr. Rivera says, help in his understanding and sensitivity when dealing with his patients, families and colleagues.

As medical director, he is responsible for developing the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center’s clinical vision, strategy and focus. In this role, Dr. Rivera directs all cancer program clinical activities and acts as the lead clinical representative. Dr. Rivera is a medical oncologist who most recently worked as the medical director at Methodist Hospital’s Breast Center in Houston.

Dr. Rivera explains his vision and goals for the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Q: What is your vision for the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center?

“Our vision is that Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center will become a regional resource for cancer patients and their families. We will offer a new level of hope to those fighting this terrible disease. Each patient will receive a personalized care plan to meet their specific needs, designed by our highly skilled, compassionate staff.”

Q: What makes MD Anderson unique?

“For 70 years, MD Anderson has been defined by a single, powerful idea — to eliminate cancer through outstanding programs which integrate patient care, research, prevention and education. Now, this powerful commitment will be available in Arizona.”

Q: Why should patients choose to be cared for at the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center?

“There are many reasons. First, our physicians at Banner MD Anderson are specially trained in cancer care and work closely with cancer experts in Houston. Our research-based treatment and advanced technology ensure patients receive the latest treatment options customized to their specific cancer. In addition, each patient has a team of experts who work together to tailor treatment plans based on the patient’s unique needs and guide the patient through the treatment process. Also, our nurses have special training or certifications in oncology care. The expertise level of all of our staff is exceptional as our team comes from the most respected and advanced cancer facilities in the world.”

Q: How will Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center’s care be similar that the model of care in Houston?

“Patients here in Arizona will receive the same type of care as patients in Houston. We will tailor our care to the needs of our local patients. As evident in Houston, we will treat the whole person, not just the disease, by incorporating personal and family needs into each patient’s care plan. It is a unique and highly-personal approach.”

Q: What influenced your decision to become a cancer physician?

“My brother was diagnosed with cancer when he was 26 and he died from the disease when he was 30. I knew then, I had to make a difference in people’s lives. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”