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Expanded Banner MD Anderson to open April 1

Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center will open the second phase of its outpatient facility on April 1, a major addition which will greatly expand specialty cancer treatment services and prevention programs in Arizona.

The three-story addition includes The James M. Cox Center for Cancer Prevention and Integrative Oncology, additional clinic and infusion space, a separate hematology/stem cell transplant clinic, and expanded radiation oncology space.

The Cox Center, established through a $5 million grant from The James M. Cox Foundation, will provide preventative health consultations for patients to determine their risk for cancer. Medical experts also will offer integrative health consults for patients undergoing cancer treatment as well as cancer survivors. The center will feature services to assist patients during their cancer journeys, such as acupuncture, massage, exercise, nutrition programs and counseling.

“Expansion of our cancer services will allow us to continue advancing the level of cancer care in Arizona through multidisciplinary treatment and access to cutting-edge research,” said Dr. Edgardo Rivera, medical director of Banner MD Anderson. “These expansion projects are more than just adding rooms, space and equipment. Our team approach ensures each patient receives a comprehensive plan of care for his or her individual diagnosis.”

For radiation oncology, the expansion adds two new linear accelerators to the current three. These advanced radiation devices are used to treat a broad spectrum of tumors throughout the body, while enabling treatment of highly complex cancers that require extreme targeting precision. The new machines are housed in rooms with patient amenities such as ceiling-mounted video screens, featuring a variety of relaxing nature scenes patients can choose to watch during their treatments.
Patients undergoing treatment for blood cancers will receive care in the new stem cell transplant/hematology clinic, located on the third floor. This clinic will care for patients with a variety of blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and many more, as well as stem cell transplant patients.

Additional infusion treatment areas will provide more space for patients receiving chemotherapy and other intravenous treatments.

Thirty additional clinic rooms will expand the capacity of the Multidisciplinary Clinic. Physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and additional care providers see patients in this clinic, which is usually divided by disease type.

Banner MD Anderson will hold a free “Power of Prevention” community event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., March 22 at the facility, 2946 E. Banner Gateway Drive. This will include tours of the new Cox Center and additional treatment areas. Learn more about the event at www.BannerMDAnderson.com/events.

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.”