Cancer Currents for November 2012

News and Notes from the Director
Photo: Mark Israel, Director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Lots of good news this month!! First, Jeff O'Brien will join NCCC on November 12 as the Vice President for Cancer Services. This is the position Michael Ward held ably for many years. The Search Committee did a superb job conducting an extensive, national search, and I am delighted to welcome Jeff, their top candidate, to the Cancer Center.

Jeff comes to us from Boston's Lahey Medical Center where he served as Vice President Cancer Services and Neurosciences. At Lahey, he developed a network of cancer centers in southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts, formed a comprehensive interdisciplinary spine center, and oversaw significant scheduling changes for outpatient clinic appointments that offered new patients less than 48-hour access and improved efficiency, while increasing patient, provider, and staff satisfaction. Jeff has a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis, Joliet, IL, where he also served as adjunct faculty professor.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration from Providence College.

As Vice President for Cancer Services, Jeff will partner with me in assuming responsibility for the overall organization and management of Norris Cotton Cancer Center operations, including Hematology/Oncology, Radiation Oncology, ambulatory cancer clinics, Infusion Suite, NCCC Regional locations, and cancer service line functions. Please join me in welcoming Jeff to our team.

I often say, "You can never thank people enough," and in the case of Linda Metcalf and Amy Stansfield who did the heavy lifting filling in as interim administrative leaders after Michael's retirement in July, it's really true. Amy and Linda - your teamwork, dedication to the Cancer Center, and superb judgment, have kept us on track through the summer and fall. We have all been the benefactors of your abilities and strengths. On behalf of the entire Cancer Center team, thank you very much.

The NCCC Scientific Symposium marking our 40th anniversary will be on November 9. Posters around the buildings will alert you to the program and our fine speakers. To think that we could have developed a daylong symposium and still not plumbed the depths of our pool of talented investigators speaks to the fantastic group of people who have joined the Cancer Center over time. Additionally, we are welcoming the latest regional affiliate in Bennington, VT. Michael Ward negotiated this relationship before he retired and we are so pleased to offer our cancer services to patients in that part of Vermont. 

We've had a long and busy fall with increases in everything from patients to publications. I hope you will take time over the Thanksgiving break to enjoy friends, family, and whatever recharges your batteries.

Mark Israel, Director

E. Schlosser Evelyn Schlosser Selected for Varnum Quality Health Care Award

Evelyn Schlosser, Director of Quality and Patient Safety, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, was selected for the 2012 James W. Varnum Quality Health Care Award. This distinguished honor recognizes individuals who exemplify organize wide commitment to providing highly reliable, exceptional care. Award recipients are selected based on the impact of their work on quality of care and the patient experience. It also showcases successful programs as an example for others throughout the system. On behalf of everyone at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, we congratulate Evelyn on this prestigious honor and thank her for devoting her talent, time, and passion to improving care at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. 

K. Dragnev Konstantin Dragnev  Named "Compassionate Caregiver Award" Finalist

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the relationship between patients and their healthcare providers, will recognize Konstantin Dragnev, MD, as a finalist for its prestigious Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver Award on November 8th in Boston.

The award was established in 1999 to honor healthcare providers who display extraordinary compassion in caring for patients and families. The finalists were chosen by a review committee based on how well they embody the characteristics of compassionate care, including effective communication and emotional support, mutual trust and respect, involving patients and families in healthcare decisions, and treating patients as people, not just illnesses.

Dr. Dragnev is known as a role model for other physicians because of his genuine, caring nature and his extraordinary ability to communicate with patients. "I have a dialogue with patients, not a monologue," said Dr. Dragnev.

Nashua Healing Garden Receives Funding

The highlight of the warm, bright, spacious infusion suite at Norris Cotton Cancer Center Nashua is the winding garden on the other side of an entire wall of windows. Sadly, the expenses for the enormous construction costs of this new facility left little monies in the budget for bulbs, seeds, and shrubs. But all that is about to change.  Seven thousand dollar in philanthropic support is on its way to Nashua to fund the completion of this lovely, healing patient resource.

Keene Accredited with Commendation

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) recently awarded a three-year Accreditation with Commendation to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center Kingsbury Pavilion at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene. Accreditation of a cancer center is granted only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment and comply with established CoC standards.

Bennington VT to join the NCCC System

In July Southwestern Vermont Medical Center's employed physicians, nearly 1,000 physicians across New Hampshire and Vermont, became part of Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The new practice is called Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians. As a next step in the relationship with the Bennington, VT based community group, we will work to connect oncology services with the Norris Cotton Cancer Center.  Watch for a new location soon to be added to our system map.

Lemons in egg crate Lemons Gone Wild

By now you've probably seen NCCC's October breast cancer awareness campaign. This bold, bright health communication campaign is aimed at increasing breast cancer screening among low income women with a high school diploma or less education. The project was completed under the direction of Kari Rosenkranz, MD, by Donna Dubuc, MBA, and Telisa Stewart, MPH, DrPH. It is being used across NH and VT at NCCC locations.  

Flu Fighters Unite

Employee and Volunteer Flu Clinic
November 14, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Level 5
Please bring your badge. This clinic is open to medical students

In case you didn't notice that there was an election going on… Don't forget to Vote on Tuesday, November 6th

Maybe you don't have a TV, the batteries in radio died, or you just missed the last debate. Stay involved. The We Care We Vote website offers links to resources to help you stay informed, such as suggested questions to ask the candidates and a video introduction by Frank McDougall, Vice President for Government Relations at D-H.

Golf tournament Touching Golf Tournament Sells Out

The Friends of NCCC South group - based in the Manchester/Nashua areas - had a busy day on Thursday, Oct. 11 - during the day the first annual Friends Golf Tournament was held at the Candia Woods golf club to support NCCC patient Krista Leclerk and the Friends of NCCC, and in the evening the third and final Healing with Art reception was held, this time in Nashua.  The golf tournament was a sell-out with great silent auction items and raffle prizes.  It was made even more special as Krista was able to leave the hospital to join the festivities for an hour.  Plans have already begun for next year's tournament!

Fisher lillies painting Healing with Art a Success

The Healing with Art reception was a true party, with 35 people in attendance, delicious food, and great press coverage.  This program - the brainchild of Friends South board member and photographer Rich Perry, is a juried exhibit of paintings and photographs by artists from all over New Hampshire, Vermont, and northern Massachusetts.  The pieces are then hung in Norris Cotton Cancer Center-Nashua, Manchester, and Lebanon.  Chosen for their ability to inspire and soothe patients while they are getting treatment or being seen by their providers, the artwork has achieved more than was hoped for as patients have even become engaged in the hanging process.   All in all, patients, staff, and docs are pleased by the program and are looking forward to the next round of artwork in about six months.

Computer Purchasing Support Added

NCCC user support specialists are now available to meet with you to discuss your needs and to arrange for purchasing on your behalf through the Dartmouth Computer Store. We recommend the following systems for most users:

Lenovo Thinkpad T400 and T500 series

HP Compaq Elite 8000 series (all-in-one)
HP Compaq 6000 series (small form factor)

More powerful machines are available for those with greater computational needs. We can arrange for  purchasing, take delivery and complete your setup in a streamlined fashion. We look forward to helping you! Please contact CSNCCC@Dartmouth.EDU if you have questions.

Upcoming Events of Note
Rampage Team Fitness Challenge

Saturday, November 10, Manchester
NLP Strength & Conditioning Center, 33 S.  Commercial Street - all day
Ready to RAMPAGE?! Gather your FUN friends who aren't afraid to get dirty for FITNESS and to support NCCC. The twelve events in three divisions include Tire Toss, Stretcher Carry, Team Sled Push and more! Don't delay, form your team today - registration rates increase Oct.  6th and Oct. 27th. To register, call (603) 627-7500.

Mullets in Movember

Saturday, November 10, Verizon Center, Manchester
The Monarchs Care Foundation will partner with Norris Cotton Cancer Center and The Movember Foundation to raise funds and awareness for the fight against men's cancers with Mullets in Movember on Saturday, November 10.  The first 3,000 fans will receive mullet wigs and moustaches to wear as the Monarchs take on the Providence Bruins at 7:00 p.m.  Buy the $30 pack (ticket and T-shirt) and $5 will go to the cause!  To order:  call (603) 626-7825 or go to

Poems of Illness and Healing

Monday, November 12, NCCC, Lebanon
The Norris Cotton Cancer Center presents the second annual reading of Poems of Illness and Healing- poetry and stories written by patients, caregivers and staff.  Join us for a reception on Monday, November 12 at 6:00 pm, Auditorium G, Level 4, Rubin. Savor the soothing tones of harpist Margaret Stephens. A special art show will be on exhibit and artists available to talk about their work. The readings will follow and end at 7:30.  Join us November 12!  Please call (603) 650-7751 for more information.

The Great American Smokeout

Thursday, November 15
LEBANON: D-H Tobacco Treatment Specialists in Lebanon will be doing free Carbon Monoxide Screening & Tobacco Treatment Resources Education on Level 3 alcove area (the area above the employee cafeteria) from 11 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. Tobacco users can trade their cigarettes in for a "Cut your Cravings Kit"

KEENE: The Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Communities at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene will mark its 15th anniversary with its Annual Butt Swap. To participate, bring your tobacco to the Cheshire Medical Center Lobby on November 14th between 6 and 9 p.m. or November 15th (Smoke-out Day) between 6 and 9 a.m.