Tag Archives: Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists

cancer.ytratment

Cancer Center Creates Synergy with Like-Minded Life Savers

Cancer is a scary word.

“The word ‘cancer’ is actually the general name given to some 100-plus diseases from breast to lung to skin cancer, and is when cells in a specific part of the body begin to grow out of control,” said Dr. Daniel Reed, co-founder of Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC) in Peoria.

While the word itself may be general, those fighting its 100-plus diseases are anything but.

“No two cancer patients are alike – and no two patients’ treatment should be either,” said Dr. Reed, who understands this firsthand as his grandmother fought breast cancer while he was in medical school, inspiring him to go into the field.

Depending on a patient’s needs, he/she may require cancer treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of both. If being treated with a combination, West Valley patients were often required to go to different cancer centers throughout the Northeast and Southeast Valley – sometimes hours away – for regular care. Unsatisfied with West Valley patients’ access to nearby facilities and support services, Dr. Reed partnered with fellow specialists Drs. Christopher Biggs and Terry Lee in 2008 to launch Arizona Center for Cancer Care in Peoria. Their mission, simply put, was to become the future of cancer treatment in Arizona.

“Our multi-specialty treatment center was designed to give us the ability to offer comprehensive cancer care to patients on this side of town – something never done before in this community,” said Dr. Reed.

Upon launching the facility, the group quickly became the first of its kind to offer West Valley patients Brachytherapy, which is an effective, less-invasive treatment for prostate, breast, lung, esophageal, gynecologic and head/neck cancers, among others. They also became the first to invest in and offer Radiosurgery to the area using a state-of-the-art technology called RapidArc® radiation therapy.

“This very precise form of therapeutic radiation uses beams of radiation to treat cancerous tissues without a surgical incision or opening, allows patients to receive treatment in as little as 10 minutes, compared to the several hours it used to take with older technologies like the cyber knife and gamma knife,” said Dr. Reed.

In 2008 the radiation oncologist and team realized they were ready to expand and partnered with prominent medical oncologist Dr. Devinder Singh and his practice, Arizona Center for Hematology and Oncology, increasing the practice to 10 physicians and the West Valley’s first comprehensive cancer practice. By 2011, when the Peoria center became Arizona’s only freestanding radiation oncology facility to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for accreditation, they had also added gynecological cancer treatment to their growing list of patient services, another first for the West Valley.

Over the past year, two major events have happened:
First, it partnered with Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists (ABCS) and Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists (AROS) to expand into the Scottsdale and Southeast Valley markets.
Then, thanks in part to relationships with ABCS and AROS, the group joined together to enter into a long-term relationship with Scottsdale Healthcare, wherein AZCCC is now overseeing the Piper Center’s ENTIRE radiation oncology wing and beyond.

Today, the practice in total now boasts 52 physicians, more than 200 employees and 20 partner offices Valleywide as a result.

“We are a cancer center without walls whose services stretch into every inch of this community, offering the West Valley with the best doctors, best treatment technologies and best research in the country,” says Dr. Reed. “Cancer is a disease of survivors – and we want to keep it that way.”

Chen

Arizona Center for Cancer Care, Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists at Scottsdale Healthcare

In an effort to enhance the radiation oncology services offered to the community, Scottsdale Healthcare is pleased to announce a long-term relationship with Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC), a multi-specialty group of Arizona’s most recognizable names in cancer treatment and technology.  Through this, AZCCC has opened facilities at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, and will now be providing radiation oncology services at both its Shea Medical Center and Osborn Medical Center locations. Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists (ABCS), AZCCC’s partner focused solely on caring for breast cancer patients, will also now provide services as part of this relationship.

“We welcome AZCCC to both our campuses and are excited for the opportunity to work together with them to provide exceptional oncology care to our community,” said Lindsay Thomas, director of oncology for Scottsdale Healthcare.
Throughout the early summer, AZCCC and ABCS have been focused on completing a renovation to its new radiation oncology facility at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in order to accommodate the expected increased volume of patients and to bring leading-edge cancer care technology to Scottsdale Healthcare. Now complete and open to patients, facility renovations include:

· More than doubling the number of exam rooms in the department
· The addition of RapidArc Stereotactic Radiosurgery as a treatment option, which will allow for short courses of high-dose radiation for the first time ever at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center
· The installation of a new iX Linear Accelerator manufactured by Varian, the industry leader in radiation equipment, capable of delivering precision Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) with daily image guidance therapy
“IMRT utilizes special imaging and treatment delivery techniques to define the size, shape and location of the tumor as well as normal tissue. It allows us to precisely design the radiation beams to the size and shape of the patient’s tumor while avoiding normal organs,” said Dr. Farley Yang, a partner at AZCCC and member of the Scottsdale Healthcare medical staff for over 10 years.

Dr. Yang was one of the first radiation oncologists in Arizona to successfully use IMRT. In addition, many of his patients have benefited from Stereotactic Radiosurgery procedures for both brain and body tumors, which is able to deliver high doses of pin-point radiation to small cancers in less than one week.

“We are excited to work closely with Scottsdale Healthcare administration and medical staff to build a world-class oncology program here in Scottsdale,” said Dr. Robert Kuske, co-founder of ABCS who is now working out of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center fulltime.

Dr. Kuske

Dr. Kuske is the pioneer of breast brachytherapy, a five-day radiation therapy alternative for women with early stage breast cancer. External beam radiation therapy is safe and very effective, but can take six weeks of daily treatment. Breast brachytherapy, or partial breast irradiation (PBI), has been researched and tested by Dr. Kuske since 1991 as a treatment method after lumpectomy. He has advanced the techniques and technology, and championed the research.

Today, he is co-principal investigator in the largest breast cancer radiation trial in history. His trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is testing head-to-head six-week whole breast radiation versus five-day PBI.

Joining Drs. Yang and Kuske at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center will be fellow radiation oncologist Dr. Luci Chen. In addition to serving as a fellow partner, Dr. Chen also brings experience from her time as clinical director of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital and as assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Chicago. She has also been awarded a Fellowship by the American Cancer Society for her clinical research in cancer care.

“We are committed to providing the best practices in radiation oncology at Scottsdale Healthcare, including RapidArc Stereotactic Radiosurgery, IMRT, Brachytherapy including PBI, as well as other services,” said Dr. Chen.

Dr. Diane C. Recine, who is currently a member of the Scottsdale Healthcare medical staff, has joined AZCCC and will continue to provide radiation oncology services at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center. In addition to her current role, Dr. Recine practiced at and served as director of residency programs for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and has both taught radiation oncology courses at the University of Chicago and has served as assistant professor of radiation oncology at Rush Medical College.

For more information, please visit www.arizonaccc.com.

sugar

The (Too) Sweet Life: Can Sugar Lead to Heart Attack, Cancer?

Life is sweet.

But is too much sweetness in one’s life dangerous?

According to 60 Minutes’ Dr. Sanjay Gupta, sweets – sugar to be exact – may very well be toxic.

In a recent report, Dr. Gupta reported that according to estimates, nearly 20 percent of the total calories in American diets comes from added sugar via soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, desserts, fruit drinks, ice cream and other candies.

“Unfortunately, the sweeter the item is on the lips, the worse it is on the hips,” says Dr. Coral Quiet of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists. “And, while sweets increase fat and caloric content, they are often void of necessary nutrients and antioxidants.”

And, apparently, that is only the beginning.

Heart Disease

According to Dr. Gupta, just one sugar-sweetened soda a day can sharply increase one’s risk for heart disease.

Some stories, such as an analysis recently published in the New York Times, report that these sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages can increase one’s risk for heart attack by more than 20 percent.

This would stand to reason as sugar can adversely change levels of good and bad cholesterols as well as increase levels of dangerous triglycerides.

So, if one simply eliminates sugary beverages from his/her diet, then she will be fine, right?

Wrong.

In addition to soda, secret sugars in food we eat each day – primarily processed foods – are acting as toxins in our body, too. This can include everything from yogurts to sauces to breads and peanut butters.

Cancer

“I truly believe that sugar is a leading cause of cancer in the United States,” Dr. Quiet says.
According to Dr. Quiet, the word “cancer” is actually the general name given to some 100-plus diseases from breast cancer to lung cancer to skin cancer and is when cells in a specific part of the body begin to grow out of control, causing a tumor.

“Most people don’t know that nearly a third of all cancerous tumors have insulin receptors on their surface that have learned to use sugar to progress,” Dr. Quiet adds.

Backing her assertion, Dr. Gupta reports that over the years, tumors with insulin receptors — like breast and colon cancers — have begun to bind with sugars in the bloodstream, stealing it from muscles and other organs signaling for it as well.

Just as other parts of our bodies use sugar for energy, so do the tumors.

The problem has become so evident that researchers are currently working around the clock on a new suite of drugs specifically meant to block tumors from hijacking sugar and glucose in the bloodstream.

The bottom line

“Until research catches up with the sweet tooth, all individuals, whether currently fighting cancer or not, need to focus on decreasing their processed food intake along with red meats, high-fat dairy products and fried foods,” Dr. Quiet says.

Health Resolutions to Make Before the New Year

Health Resolutions To Make Before The New Year

Each year, we spend New Year’s Day resolving to improve mind, body and spirit.

However, in most cases, those resolutions are often broken, forgotten and shelved for yet another year before the holiday lights even come down.

So, this year, why not get a head’s start on make better choices before the New Year arrives?

Below are some helpful tips from Valley health leaders on how to get a jump start while the holidays are still in full swing:

Decrease Risk of Silent Nights

“Resolve to make your ears a part of your yearly physical exam,” says Sherri Collins, executive director of Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “General practitioners will check your eyes, heart and blood pressure, but they do not normally perform hearing tests. This could prevent furthering any existing hearing loss.”

She adds to also turn down excess noise this holiday season and beyond. According to Collins, 15 percent of individuals aged 20-69 have some degree of hearing loss that may have been caused by exposure to loud noises.

Increase Talk Time

“The holidays are the perfect time to create healthy communication in your family by talking regularly with your kids about finals, school recess plans, social life, goals and peer-pressure,” says Leslie Bloom of DrugFreeAz.org. “Children who regularly talk with their parents are 50 percent less likely to use drugs. A great place to start that conversation is around the dinner table together.”

Also, while stocking the cabinets for guests this holiday season, take some time to unstock what you no longer need.

“Use the excuse of holiday guests to go through your medicine cabinet and clear out any unused or expired medicines,” Bloom says. “Check out DrugFreeAz.org/Rx for the best ways to dispose of those unused or expired medicines.”

Decrease Sweets for Your Sweets

In a recent report, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for the Health, Medical & Wellness unit at CNN, reported that according to estimates, nearly 20 percent of the total calories in American diets comes from added sugar via soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, desserts, fruit drinks, ice cream and other candies.

But that is just the beginning.

“Most people don’t realize that diets rich in sugar not only lead to increased risk of diabetes, but also to heart disease and cancer,” says Dr. Coral Quiet of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists. “Breast and colon cancers have insulin receptors that encourage tumor growth.”

A best bet to optimize health — fight the sugar bug during the holidays.

Increase Pillow Talk

“There will be more than 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed this year in the United States alone, making it the third most common cancer in women,” says Dr. Rhianna Meadows of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “The No. 1 risk factor in developing cervical cancer — the human papilloma virus, or HPV.”

With this disease — and most other STDs — easily confused with common ailments in early stages, the only defense is a good offense. The offense: communication.

According to Dr. Meadows, some questions to get started:

  • Have you ever been tested for any STDs? If so, which ones?
  • Are you involved with anyone else, or when was your last sexual activity?
  • I believe in safe sex and condom use, do you?

Decrease the Summer Glow

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 31,000 Arizona residents are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. And not all of them have the hot summer sun to blame.

“This is Arizona — not the Jersey Shore,” says Dr. Gregory Maggass of Arizona Center for Cancer Care. “Simply put, do not step foot in a tanning bed to keep your summer glow this holiday season.”

Each of these early resolutions will make for a very happy — and healthy — New Year, indeed.

For more information on all these and other health resolutions to make, please visit any of the below:

acdhh.org
drugfreeaz.org
breastmd.com
ppaz.org
canceraz.com

Breast cancer treatment

From Bugles To Breasts: Dr. Robert Kuske's Advances In Breast Cancer Treatment

Not all heroes wear capes or carry Batman-like toys.

Dr. Robert Kuske of Arizona Breast Cancer SpecialistsIn fact, in breast cancer pioneer and Scottsdale resident Dr. Robert Kuske’s case, he wears a lab coat and carries a bugle.

Yes, a bugle.

“When I was 18 years old, I left my hometown in Ohio for the bright lights of Wisconsin to play in the Bugle Corps while training to become a doctor,” Dr. Kuske says.

Over his four-year career with the group, and while getting his college education, he eventually helped to take the troop to the No. 1 ranking in the world. At 21, he was aged out of the program and put his passion into medicine — even helping to conduct nuclear physics research during his final year of professional playing.

“While I still played for fun, breast cancer treatment became my true passion thanks to my favorite professor and long-time mentor Dr. Aron,” Dr. Kuske says.

Dr. Kuske would indeed go into Dr. Aron’s profession — as a breast cancer specialist — eventually while serving as Chairman of Radiation Oncology at the famed Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans and co-developing a five-day radiation therapy alternative for women with early stage breast cancer called Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI).

“Nationwide, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year,” Dr. Kuske says. “Surgical removal of the cancerous lump via lumpectomy is usually the first step in treatment, followed by either mastectomy or radiation.”

Today, most women choose radiation because the survival rate for such treatment is the same as with mastectomy for select early-stage breast cancers, and it allows the patient to preserve her breast.

“External beam radiation therapy, the common treatment today for early-stage breast cancer, is safe and very effective,” Dr. Kuske says. “But, it can take six time/energy-consuming weeks of daily treatment with side effects.”

APBI – or breast brachytherapy – has been researched and tested by Dr. Kuske since 1991 as a treatment method after lumpectomy. He has advanced the techniques and technology, and championed the research just as he championed his Bugle Corp into the mainstream all those years ago.

As his research progressed, Dr. Kuske found almost all of his cancer patients were strictly those with breast cancer.

So, when he moved to Scottsdale in the mid-2000s, Dr. Kuske partnered with fellow breast cancer innovator Dr. Coral Quiet and founded Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists in Scottsdale, the first organization worldwide dedicated to exclusively treating women with breast cancer with radiation.

With his focus strictly on treating breast cancer, he has been more determined than ever to move his APBI research further upstream – into the mainstream. As such, today he is co-principal investigator in the largest breast cancer radiation trial in medical history. His trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is testing 4,300 women with head-to-head, six-week, whole breast radiation versus his five-day APBI.

“I am within months of finishing the trial and believe the results will cause the biggest paradigm shift in how patients will be treated since Marie Curie herself discovered radium in 1896, which led to radiation treatment,” Dr. Kuske says.

In addition, his breast centers have also recently invested in a new technology to help women with large breasts obtain safer treatment.

“We’ve partnered with Varian Medical Systems to offer the Pivotal™ treatment solution for prone breast cancer care, a critical technology for large-breasted women that allows them to obtain treatment in the prone, or face-down, position,” Dr. Kuske says.

With this option, they are literally turning breast cancer treatment upside down.

Growing evidence shows considerable advantages in treating larger-breasted women in the prone position rather than in supine, meaning on one’s back.

According to Dr. Kuske, the advantages include a significant reduction in radiation to the heart and lungs, attainment of good dose homogeneity, minimized respiratory motion and reduced skin toxicity. The Pivotal treatment solution for prone breast care combines the prone technique with an innovative couch-top device. The design enables treatment of both right and left breast, including whole breast, partial breast and APBI.

This work has not gone unnoticed. In fact, Dr. Kuske was a 2012 finalist for both the Health Care Leadership and Health Care Hero Awards, respectively.

Oh – and he is still bugling. In fact, he volunteers his time to the Arizona Academy of Drum and Bugle Corps as its vice president and as a fundraiser. He works to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to take his kids nationwide to compete just as he did.

For more information about Dr. Kuske or breast cancer treatment, please visit breastmd.com.

Pink Light District

Arizona Institute For Breast Health Announces Return of Pink Light District Fundraiser

As part of the annual Pink Light District to benefit the Arizona Institute for Breast Health (AIBH), members of the Arizona community and beyond are invited to sponsor a pink light in honor or in memory of a loved one touched by cancer. The Scottsdale-headquartered, nonprofit organization stands behind its mission to provide women diagnosed with breast cancer in Arizona a second opinion on treatment options completely free of charge.

Pink Light DistrictPink Honor Lights may be given to anyone touched by breast cancer in any way. They can shine in honor of a brave survivor, in memory of a loved one or to recognize that special person in your doctor’s office. There is no limit to the number of lights one can buy to recognize and honor those in their lives. Sponsorships of multiple lights and other donation opportunities are also available.

“The lights, available for sponsorship now through October 31, will glow over the Marshall Way Bridge in downtown Scottsdale starting October 4 and throughout the rest of Breast Cancer Awareness month,” says Christine Fenwick, executive director of AIBH and 17-year breast cancer survivor.

In addition to the light, each honoree who is gifted a light will receive a Pink Light Tribute Card, and his or her name will be placed in the 2012 Pink Light Honor Album on the AIBH website. “This year, we are extremely honored to have Dr. William Leighton as our 2012 Pink Light District Premier Sponsor,” Fenwick says.

In addition to Dr. Leighton, other valuable corporate sponsors include Yeager North, Iron Medical Systems, Olive & Ivy, Anasazi Internal Medicine, HMA Public Relations, Sapporo Scottsdale, Leighton & Abdo Attorneys at Law, Fiesta Furnishings and Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists, which is led by AIBH co-founder, Dr. Coral Quiet, who also serves as the organization’s volunteer medical director.

Fenwick adds that other interested potential partners are welcome to visit AIBH’s website  and contact her team to arrange a fundraising event.

“Since our inception in 1998, we’ve sought to provide education, resources and support to newly diagnosed patients with the help of our volunteer team of physicians and medical professionals whose specialties include breast radiology, breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery and breast pathology,” says Dr. Quiet, whose team was recently named a 2012 Healthcare Leadership Award honoree and a 2012 Phoenix Business Journal Health Care Hero finalist for the critical service they provide to the community.

For more information about Pink Light District, or to sponsor a pink light for $25, please visit pinklightdistrict.org.

Health Screenings 101

Be Proactive: Health Screenings 101

Everyone has heard it: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

This oft-used quote from the one-and-only Benjamin Franklin could not be truer for anyone more than seniors.

From arthritis to Alzheimer’s, Scottsdale residents need to take control of their health and wellness at the most proactive level possible. Among the most important ways to become proactive is to simply taking part in recommended health screenings.

Annual physical

Certainly, an annual exam is a must, including a blood pressure check, cholesterol screening and potentially even a diabetes screening. Ideally, this should occur each year no matter one’s age; but, for even the healthiest of individuals turning 50, this is a must-do.

Mammograms

For women, mammograms should be a given. In fact, according to Dr. Luci Chen at Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists, new screening guidelines recommend mammograms as early as age 40 for all women, even those with no history of the disease in their families. This is an update from the former age of 50 to begin such tests.

But, Dr. Chen adds that a stunning number of women often don’t begin getting regular mammograms until retirement — or after.

Prostate screenings

Prostate cancer is the most common form of non-skin cancer in America — and rampant among senior-age men. According to Dr. Gregory Maggass of Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with likelihood increasing with age.

“Without a doubt, the best chance for a positive outcome, including early diagnosis and less-invasive treatment, is a regular screening starting at age 50,” Dr. Maggass says. “The best bet: Getting a prostate-specific antigen as well as a digital rectal exam, which sounds bad but is much more comfortable than cancer.

Colonoscopies

“As Katie Couric has taught us, both men and women should get their first colonoscopy by age 50, and should repeat the process as doctors request, usually once every five to 10 years,” Dr. Maggass says.

Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer can ensure a 100 percent cure.

Hearing screenings

“Aside from continuous exposure to loud noise, age is the most common cause of hearing loss,” says Sherri Collins of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. “Physicians can test for hearing loss in a general health assessment, but it is rare, making it imperative for seniors to take the initiative to be tested.”

Collins adds that advancements in technology and services in recent years have provided the ability to live a completely full and productive life if one is experiencing hearing loss — and catches it early.

Vision screenings

While these are recommended as early as age 30 and repeated about every five years, it is imperative to begin a relationship with an optometrist or ophthalmologist, as diabetes-released eye diseases as well as glaucoma and cataracts are common issues among seniors.

For more information on general health screenings, please visit cdc.gov.

Breast Cancer Survivor's Story

A Scottsdale Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story

Each year, nearly 4,000 women in Arizona are diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Within hours of learning of their diagnoses, all 4,000 women — our mothers, sisters and daughters — will be charged with making life-altering decisions,” says Dr. Coral Quiet of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists in Scottsdale.

Here is one brave Scottsdale woman’s inspiring story.

Breast Cancer SurvivorIn 2000, Mary Purkiss was a busy mom who co-owned a successful group of call centers with her hubby. Their center allowed them to travel the world and help oversee the careers of more than 500 employees. They even had an on-site “store” in their centers that sold fun incentives and gifts, including high-end jewelry made by Purkiss herself, where employees could spend “funny money” earned for a job well done. Of course, her jewelry sold out on a regular basis.

On the evening of the couple’s annual holiday party for their staff, they were getting ready when Purkiss’ hubby noticed a lump in her breast. He urged her to feel it — it had never been there before.

Somehow, both scared, they made it through the holiday party. When she visited her doctor, she ended up having to have a needle biopsy.

“Still healing from it, the doctor called days later and told my husband ‘Tell your wife she has breast cancer and needs a mastectomy immediately,’ ” Purkiss says.

Terrified, the couple didn’t know where to turn. A successful businesswoman, Purkiss didn’t know enough about cancer to decide if it was the best option for her or the next steps. So, less than three weeks later, she was on the operating table having a double mastectomy.

The healing process — and resulting reconstruction — took two years. In that time, the couple, who had three children — the eldest at 10 years old — at home, decided to sell their successful business and focus on healing and family. Unfortunately, this didn’t go so well; Purkiss ended up needing six surgeries due to issues with the implants from the reconstruction and her father was diagnosed with lung cancer.

As an escape, she turned back to her jewelry hobby as a release. Before long, her hubby launched a website to help sell all of her baubles.

As the business surprisingly took off, Purkiss decided she didn’t need all the money for herself. So, she went in search of a breast cancer charity with which to partner.

“My goal was to donate 15 percent of all sales – not just proceeds – directly back to a breast cancer organization,” Purkiss says. “Believe it or not, I had trouble finding a partner to take my donations for what seemed like years!”

Breast Cancer SurvivorHowever, one day Purkiss was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room and saw something on the white board, a seminar titled “Are Our Daughters at Risk? Talking to Kids About Cancer,” featuring Dr. Quiet, co-founder of Arizona Institute for Breast Health (AIBH).

This struck a chord with Purkiss as her own daughter asked if she would also be getting cancer like mommy as soon as Purkiss was diagnosed. She attended the session with a good friend, who lost her mother to breast cancer, and they were inspired.

“I literally just stood up after the seminar and blurted out to Dr. Quiet how I wanted to give her my money,” laughs Purkiss.

Floored, Dr. Quiet invited Purkiss to attend an AIBH committee meeting. Before long, a partnership was struck. All these years later, Purkiss’ business is still successful and still involved with giving back to AIBH — in more ways than one. Over the years, Purkiss joined the AIBH board and even served as its president.

Her hope is that if any other woman in Arizona gets a cold phone call from a doctor letting her know she has breast cancer, that she dials AIBH immediately.

“It’s a call I wish I would have known to make,” says a still-cancer-free Purkiss, whose breast reconstruction from the mastectomy resulted in six additional surgeries due to complications.

For more information about AIBH or the importance of second opinions when diagnosed with breast cancer, please visit aibh.org.

HCL Awards 2012 - Julie Robbins

HCL Awards 2012: Researcher, Julie Robbins


Researcher

Julie Robbins

Battelle

HCL Awards 2012 - Julie RobbinsJulie Robbins, who has been working in the healthcare industry for more than 25 years, is responsible for coordinating many Arizona research projects and educational seminars. In her position with Battelle, Robbins works as a research scientist, working closely with the Arizona Biomedical Research Consortium. Some of Robbins’ projects in 2011 included:

1. Arizona Public Cord Blood Banking Project. This project gave Arizona families the opportunity to store core blood in a public cord blood bank, which is the only one of its kind in Arizona. Participating hospitals include St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Maricopa Integrated Health System and Phoenix Baptist Hospital.

2. Arizona Virtual Bio-specimen Repository. This monumental project will allow researchers to share bio-specimens via a proprietary online platform. The repository will allow hospitals and researchers easier and faster access to critical bio-specimen samples. This pivotal project will keep Arizona on the forefront of biomedical research innovation.

3. Robbins has also created seminars to assist healthcare professionals in keeping their medical licenses current. The most recent seminar she put together was a two-day grant writing and research skills workshop.

battelle.org


Finalist

Dennis Crandall

Sonoran Spine Center

HCL Awards 2012 - Dennis CrandallIn 2000, Crandall founded the Sonoran Spine Research and education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds college scholarships for students with spinal deformities, spinal research projects, and educational seminars such as the annual Arizona Spine and Scoliosis Symposium and Fund Raiser for the National Scoliosis Association. Crandall has developed a new spinal instrumentation system that solves certain difficult spinal deformity problems which are not correctable with other technology. The challenge and gratification of alleviating pain and restoring function in patients with complex spinal disorders in what made Crandall choose his medical specialty.

sonoranspine.com


Finalist

Dr. Robert Kuske

Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists

HCL Awards 2012 - Robert KuskeKuske is the co-founder/medical director of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists as well as its chief research officer. He and his partner founded ABCs in 2008 and have grown the practice into 50+ employees, three offices and seven practicing doctors in four short years. Today, he is co-principal investigator in the largest breast cancer radiation trial in history. His trial, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, is testing head-to-head six-week whole breast radiation versus five-day partial breast irradiation. Targeted to a randomized 4,300 women, Kuske is within a year of finishing the trial, and believes the results will cause a major shift in how breast cancer patients will be treated.

arizona-breast-cancer-specialists.com


HCL Awards 2012 Winners & Finalists

AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012