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King's Daughters to open Oncology Center of Excellence

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Tammi Holbrook

group of people standing posing for a photoKing’s Daughters has announced it is building an Oncology Center of Excellence on the fifth floor of Medical Plaza A to enhance access to care and increase overall convenience for cancer patients. The Center is expected to open some time this fall.

The expansion will transform a 7,000-square-foot clinical space with limited privacy to a comfortable 19,000-square foot facility that is patient and family-friendly.

The Oncology Center of Excellence will provide patients with multiple services in one location, including:

  • Physician offices
  • 28 private infusion bays
  • 12 exam rooms
  • Two rooms for chemo education, dietary visits, social work, pastoral care, nurse navigator visits and financial counseling
  • An enlarged customer-friendly family lounge with café tables where family members can eat without being too far from their loved one receiving treatment
  • Conference room to host tumor boards and oncology service line meetings

Providers located in the Center will include oncologist David Goebel, M.D.; oncologist/hematologists Chad Tarbolous, M.D., Galena Salem, M.D, and Vinay Vermani, M.D., along with certified oncology nurse Eva Joseph.

King’s Daughters Health System is a locally-owned and operated not-for-profit hospital employing more than 3,300 team members with salaries and benefits of more than $240 million annually. After a major financial turnaround under the newly established leadership team in 2015, King’s Daughters expects to add an additional 55 jobs health system-wide in 2016.

The oncology service line at King’s Daughters is one of its most significant growth programs, and it has maintained accreditation by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer for 21 consecutive years.

King’s Daughters currently employs four medical oncologist/hematologists and an advanced registered nurse practitioner. Two additional oncology physicians are being recruited this year.

“As we bring new oncologists on board, jobs are preserved and new jobs are added,” said Kristie Whitlatch, King’s Daughters president/CEO. “For instance, the addition of two oncologists in 2013 resulted in hiring eight additional team members, not counting the physicians. It also enabled us to see nearly 100 new cancer patients.”

The Oncology Center of Excellence also will contribute to economic development and increase access to care by enabling King’s Daughters to develop partnerships with cancer programs such as the University of Kentucky, Whitlatch added. “These partnerships will bring oncology subspecialists to the area and eliminate the need for patients to travel outside of the community for evaluation and follow-up care.”

Funding to build the Oncology Center of Excellence will be provided in part by King's Daughters Health Foundation through events such as The Annual Rocky Adkins Cure for Cancer Golf Tournament. The fundraiser will contribute $450,000 for the project. State Rep. Adkins is a 21-year cancer survivor, and 2016 will be the 21st year of the tournament. The annual event also has raised funds to build King’s Daughters Hospitality House as well as purchase a mobile mammography unit that has helped thousands of women to receive mammograms in rural areas.

Photo, from left: Oncologist/hematologist Vinay Vermani, M.D.; cancer registrar Amy Sheperd; patient office coordinator for KDMS Tri-State Hematology/Oncology Sandra Terry; oncologist David Goebel, M.D.; oncologist Chad Tarabolous, M.D.; Eva Joseph, APRN; David Childers, facilities management; Darlene Shaffer, medical practice management; Mary Adams, cancer nurse navigator; Sydney Keeton, facilities management