American Cancer Society, GeorgiaCORE, and Kaiser Permanente
A Note From the Host: Thank you! for listening to our inaugural show with Health Connect South. We are excited to provide a media outlet to supplement the efforts of the organization to move healthcare outcomes forward in our community. We were pleased to bring these experts together for what turned out to be an excellent discussion on efforts to improve outcomes for cancer patients. I was disappointed to learn in post-production that there was a technical problem that created a level of feedback over the recording of the broadcast. We are not satisfied with anything less than excellent sound quality for our content. That said, please forgive the presence of static that found its way into the recording and take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about what these important experts are working to achieve, and what resources would help them achieve larger success sooner. And be sure to tune in next week for what will be a great live show and subsequent podcast (sans technology gremlins). ~CW Hall
According to statistics from cancer.org, cancer is currently the #2 cause of death in the US. We know that cancer occurrence is greatest among persons over 40 years of age. As the proportion of persons over 40 grows more rapidly, cancer will become the #1 cause of death statistically, surpassing heart disease. While these facts are concerning, there are reasons to feel encouraged. Since 1991, the overall death rate due to cancer has decreased by 22%, translating to over 1.5 million lives saved. Recent statistics show this trend is continuing. But we obviously have work to do.
For our first episode Diana Keough of ShareWIK Media Group and I sat down with experts from American Cancer Society, GeorgiaCORE, and Kaiser Permanente to talk about efforts to reduce cancer rates of occurrence and improve outcomes for those who become cancer patients. Dr. Len Lichtenfeld is Deputy Chief Medical Director for American Cancer Society. He shared information about the over-arching goals of American Cancer Society and key areas of focus. We also talked about some areas of need that if bolstered, could advance cancer awareness and outcomes. Dr. Lichtenfeld spoke about the fact that an area that could help improve cancer outcomes is in continued improvements in awareness of (and use of) screening measures, particularly among at-risk women and areas with limited access to care to facilitate earlier detection and intervention.
Nancy Paris shared how GeorgiaCORE is focused on amplifying national efforts with a state-level focus to curb cancer rates and improve outcomes for cancer patients and quality of life for survivors in Georgia. This unique health initiative is a public-private partnership that provides a collecting point for information regarding available care resources for active cancer patients and survivors. The organization also provides a listing of ongoing clinical trials that a patient may be able to participate in to fight their cancer while advancing science for new evidence-based treatment approaches. When the organization began to look into available clinical trials they identified 82. That number has grown to over 650. Nancy said, “The number of trials isn’t the whole measure of their value. But cancer is a multifaceted disease, in fact more than one disease. . .So we have to have a number of trials to reach different types of cancers, different age groups. . .That means a patient may be eligible for a new treatment.” She talked about how GeorgiaCORE supports active research in the state and helps link patients with trials that could potentially help them.
Dr. Bindu Lingam is an oncologist with Southeast Permanente Medical Group who has a passion for clinical research in the field of oncology in addition to providing high quality care to patients. She shared information about Kaiser Permanente, including the fact that they currently care for over 9 million members across the country. Dr. Lingam talked about how physicians guide the care of patients and how health and research data is able to be shared across their network to improve outcomes for all due to a system-wide electronic medical record. She described how the organization is able to facilitate best practices and research efforts across their network by sharing data from locations around the country. “We have a rich network of information to draw from. And we feel like we draw that network here to Georgia and Atlanta to capitalize on that.”
Dr. Len Licthenfeld, MD, MACP, Deputy Chief Medical Director of American Cancer Society
- Doctorate of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
- Member, Alpha Omega Alpha, Honor Medical Society
- Board Certified, Oncology
- Over 4 decades of involvement in cancer care
Nancy Paris, President of GeorgiaCORE
- Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Georgia Health Foundation
- Former Vice President, Georgia Cancer Coalition
- Former Vice President, Georgia Baptist Health Care System
- MS, Health Policy and Administration, Mercer University
Dr. Bindu Lingam, MD, of Southeast Permanente Medical Group
- Doctorate of Medicine, Meharry Medical College
- Fellowship, Hematology-Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine
- Recipient, 2014 Community Benefit Award, Kaiser Permanente Georgia Region
- Recipient, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award- NIH Training Grant