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Norris Cotton Cancer Center
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Cancer Currents for April 2015

Mark Israel

Our recent redesignation by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center included assessment of our efforts to address the needs of our catchment area. New Hampshire Commissioner of Health, Dr. Jose Montero, participated in our on-site presentation to reviewers, and he cited long-standing collaborations on behalf of the citizens in our catchment area such as Judy Rees' operation of the State Cancer Registry, Lynn Butterly's direction of the CDC-funded statewide colonoscopy program, Marlene Goldman's oversight of our participation in the State's CDC-funded breast and cervical screening project, and Susanne Tanski's leadership of the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration's (NHCCC) Prevention Work Group.

Our partnership with New Hampshire colleagues working in cancer continues to grow as the State launches its new six-year cancer plan. Emblematic of these developments are three workshops at the upcoming 2015 NHCCC annual meeting in Concord to be led by Dr. Tanski (e-cigarettes), Bill Black (lung cancer screening), and Ardis Olson (HPV vaccination). On a quarterly basis, we produce for NHCCC an “emerging issue brief” that is circulated widely to inform others working in the field of cancer. Jennifer Emond and Diane Gilbert-Diamond's recent overview of the relationship of youth eating habits and the risk of adult onset cancers continues the series of emerging issues briefs that includes precision medicine by Chris Amos and Greg Tsongalis, and over diagnosis by Tracy Onega and Anna Tosteson. Recently, the NHCCC funded Laleh Talebian's project to empower local high school students as cancer control advocates, and a State award is pending to Dr. Olson to promote HPV vaccination in pediatric practices.

As New Hampshire launches its new cancer plan, the NHCCC has organized three task forces on health equity, quality of life, and shared decision-making, with the latter co-led by our own David Nalepinski. I encourage any of you interested in these topics to consider getting in on the ground floor of these discussions. The new State plan includes formation of collaborative task forces to address emerging themes of interest to our catchment area. I encourage those who would like to get involved to speak with Bob Gerlach, who begins a two-year term as Chair of the NHCCC Board in July. I appreciate your efforts to address the control of cancer in our own backyard, and hope you can take advantage of the new system of collaborative, topic-specific New Hampshire task forces to advance your work and the health of our fellow citizens.

Mark Israel, Director

NCCC Team Wins Top Quality Honor at the DH Patient Quality & Safety Week Poster Fair

At last week's DH Patient Quality & Safety Week Poster Fair, the project team, led by Deb Scribner, Practice Manager Hematology/Oncology presented "Organizing a Reliably Operating Oncology Clinic (ROC)."

Last year, clinic flow through 3K demonstrated an uneven demand for resources (exam rooms and clinic staff) throughout the day and days of the week, which led to overcrowding at times and underutilization at other times. There was an opportunity to improve scheduling efficiency, clinic throughput, and resource utilization, and, as a result, reduce patient and staff wait times and delays. By designing and utilizing a capacity calculator they can now proactively manage the clinic schedule based on daily and weekly numbers.

Understanding capacity in the clinic aids in avoiding excessive wait times for patients some days, and unproductive down time in the clinic on other days. This assists the providers and staff in managing their time and creates an opportunity for both increased staff and patient satisfaction in addition to increased clinic efficiency and productivity.

Team members included Stacey Aldrich, RN, Athene Chadwick, Marc Gautier, MD, Megan O'Neil, RN, Sudhir Manda, MD, Dennis McGrath, Clinton Morgan, MD, James Neilsen, David Nalepinski, Deborah Scribner, Sara Simeone, RN, Gregory Ripple, MD, Anna Schaal, APRN, Frances Willette, with data support provided by Jen Snide and Dan Gelb.

Congratulations to the entire team for their efforts in quality improvement and driving NCCC to Operational Excellence.

NCCC New Awards

Scott Davis, PhD
Member, Cancer Imaging and Radiobiology at Norris Cotton Cancer Center and Assistant Professor of Engineering Science at Thayer School of Engineering

  • National Cancer Institute
    MRI fluorescence tomography for quantifying tumor receptor concentration in vivo

Joanna Hamilton, PhD
Deep Sequencing Manager of Genomics and Molecular Biology Shared Resource

  • Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF)
    Selected as lead scientist in ABRF's Next-Generation Sequencing Phase II study to evaluate DNA-sequencing platforms

News Releases This Month

Landers: Are we getting value for our cancer treatment spending?

Value of U.S. Cancer Care Questioned

New mechanism of acquired resistance to breast cancer drugs discovered

Investigators Identify Window of Vulnerability for STIs to Infect Human Female Reproductive Tract

John X.J. Zhang Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Fast Food Companies Are Breaking Their Own Pledges About How They Advertise to Kids

Flower-like Magnetic Nanoparticles Target Difficult Tumors

Study: mHealth app helps improve breast cancer risk assessment in diverse, low-income women

Marketing of energy drinks is placed to appeal to teens

Meditation and the immune system

Other Events

Northeastern Breast Cancer Symposium

Friday, May 8, 2015, 8:00 am—5:00 pm

Auditorium E, Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Grand Rounds

NCCC holds Grand Rounds lectures on most Tuesdays from 12 to 1 pm in the Barbara E. Rubin Building at D-H, Lebanon. Our Events for Cancer Professionals listing shows our upcoming lectures. Most lectures can be viewed live or archived.

Friends of NCCC Events

April 21
Hanover Prouty Kick Off!

May 2
Seeds of Hope- Fashion Fundraiser for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center

May 9
Lake Sunapee Prouty Kick Off!

July 10
The Prouty Ultimate

July 11
The Prouty

August 16
Green Mountain Motorcycle Ride

September 6
Friends Fighting Cancer 5K