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Care That Matters

New facility at Catholic Medical Center provides integrated cancer care close to home in Manchester

Diagnosed with peripheral T-cell lymphoma a few years ago, Russell Nelson of Bedford, New Hampshire, began seeing hematologist Marc Gautier, MD, at Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

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Nelson took advantage of the Cancer Center's then new location in southern New Hampshire, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester.

In February, 2006, Nelson had an autologous stem cell transplant-an advanced procedure that returned Nelson's own, healthy stem cells, saved prior to his treatment for lymphoma. Nelson traveled to Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon only for the transplant, but otherwise received his care-bone marrow aspirations and preparation for the stem cell transplant, as well as chemotherapy to kill the lymphoma cells-in Manchester, 15 minutes from his home.

Once again on treatment, Nelson now sees Gautier at Norris Cotton Cancer Center's new location in Manchester at Catholic Medical Center, which opened in early 2008. Located in the Notre Dame Pavilion, and connected to the Medical Center by a new Sky Bridge, Norris Cotton Cancer Center at CMC brings together complete inpatient and outpatient medical oncology services in one convenient location for patients.

Comprehensive services include infusion therapy, clinical trials, bone marrow biopsies/aspirates, cancer genetic counseling, pharmacy, laboratory, and supportive services such as social work, nutritional counseling, dietary services, and pastoral care. The new, larger space in the Notre Dame Pavilion also allows for interdisciplinary cancer clinics, a new model for cancer care delivery that brings several cancer specialists for a particular type of cancer together at one time and greatly improves patient-centered care.

The latest addition to our network of regional locations and partner hospitals, Norris Cotton Cancer Center at CMC increases access in southern New Hampshire to the expertise, research knowledge, clinical trials, and specialized care of the state's only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Yet it is the way the expertise and specialized care is delivered that matters most to patients, says Laurie Thiboutot of Nashua, New Hampshire. "I've noticed that the philosophy at the Cancer Center in Manchester is that they don't just treat the cancer, they treat the whole person," she says.

Thiboutot, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, has received all her care from oncologist Gautami Rao, MD, first in Nashua, and then in Manchester. No matter the location, Thiboutot says, Rao and her staff make sure that "each of her patients is being cared for with the latest technology and the best treatment for the individual patient." Russell Nelson agrees. "They treat me like family," he says.  Dr. Marc Gautier gives him all the time he needs to ask questions and understand his treatment.

When Laurie Thiboutot received news of her cancer, she was faced with a decision. "You can either have it consume you, or you can beat it," she says. With a positive attitude, her strong community of support, and the care and expertise of Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Thiboutot is determined to beat it. "I have chosen to take the positive route, and I'm going to see it through the best that I can, and with the technology that's available for me."

April 15, 2008