One comprehensive team devoted to your cancer care
By Erika Z. Byrd
Since 1989, the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center has helped thousands of people and their families navigate the challenges of cancer. A multidisciplinary team approach is the hallmark of the center’s comprehensive model. Physicians regularly meet to discuss cases and collectively determine the best treatments for patients.
Led by Medical Director Elber S. Camacho, MD, and Executive Director Teresa Whipple, the Comprehensive Cancer Center’s team includes 16 physicians and 120 support staff providing a full range of services from screening and diagnosis through treatment and follow-up care. The custom electronic medical record developed specifically for the center allows all treating clinicians instant access to a patient’s information.
The multidisciplinary team includes medical, surgical, gynecologic, gastrointestinal and radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory professionals. Focused on treating the whole person, the team also has a medical psychologist to offer support for the emotional aspects of dealing with cancer, a dietitian to offer nutritional counseling, and social workers to assist with practical matters such as transportation to and from treatments and referral to community organizations that provide financial assistance.
Last November, the Comprehensive Cancer Center received a three-year accreditation along with an Award of Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons for meeting or exceeding 36 standards of care with no deficiencies.
Special Programs Of The Comprehensive Cancer Center Include:
• Comprehensive Breast Center • Breast cancer pre-treatment planning conference • Multidisciplinary prostate cancer clinic • Full-time gynecologic oncology program • Thoracic oncology program • Full-time clinical research program
Realizing that it can be draining for cancer patients to go from one specialist and building to another, the Comprehensive Cancer Center was designed with patient convenience and comfort in mind. At the center’s 60,000-square-foot headquarter location in Palm Springs, a patient can see their physician, receive infusion treatments, obtain lab work or diagnostic imaging and fill a prescription — during the same visit in the same building. There’s even complimentary valet parking.
Through a new satellite location in La Quinta — which celebrated its first anniversary last March — the team is touching even more lives in the East Valley with this comprehensive level of care. “We recruited three new physicians who see patients in La Quinta as well as at our main facility,” Whipple said.
Seamlessly working together as one team to coordinate and manage integrated care of cancer patients is what sets the Comprehensive Cancer Center apart. Should you or a loved one ever hear the words, “You’ve got cancer,” this is the team you want on your side.
Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center • 1180 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Suite E218, Palm Springs, CA 92262 • 47647 Caleo Bay, Suite 260, La Quinta CA 92253 760-416-4800 www.desertregional.com/cancer
Office Affiliation: Desert Regional Medical Center
A new Comprehensive Cancer Center program is the Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic for newly diagnosed patients or those whose cancer has spread. The medical team includes (seated, from left ) Murthy V.S. Andavolu, MD, Director of the Multidisciplinary Prostate Cancer Clinic, and Elber S. Camacho, MD, Medical Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Standing from left are: Allan Lipkowitz, MD, Diagnostic Radiology; Judy Jackson, MD, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology, and Robert Rosser, MD, Pathology. Photo: Mike Moorman