Salina Cancer Staff Recognized

Staff members from Tammy Walker Cancer Center, Salina Regional Health Center, and the Masonic Cancer Alliance gathered in Salina earlier this month with community leaders, elected officials, and others to celebrate the role the two Salina medical facilities played in The University of Kansas Cancer Center earning comprehensive designation from the National Cancer Institute.

According to Salina Regional Health Center, in 2012 KU Cancer Center became the 67th cancer center to be designated by the NCI; today there are 71 NCI-designated cancer centers. Last summer, KU Cancer Center earned comprehensive cancer center designation, the highest level of recognition awarded by the NCI. Only 52 other cancer centers have earned comprehensive status. Comprehensive cancer centers are leaders in cancer research, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Comprehensive designation is a crucial milestone in the journey to conquer all cancers. This designation brings increased access to more federal funding and research dollars. For the four-and-a-half million people living in KU Cancer Center’s catchment area – all of Kansas and 18 counties in western Missouri – comprehensive status provides access to more tools and more funding to help minority and at-risk populations. This includes finding better ways to prevent cancer, diagnose it earlier, accelerate treatment and clinical trial access,
increase survival rates, and improve overall quality of life.

Without the collective strength of KU Cancer Center and MCA partners like TWCC, comprehensive designation would not have been possible. As a clinical research partner of the Masonic Cancer Alliance, TWCC played a critical role in earning comprehensive designation. Tammy Walker Cancer Center has consistently been one of
the highest enrolling sites for clinical trials in the MCA.

“We are blessed to have a wonderful team of physicians and staff members at the Tammy Walker Cancer Center delivering state of the art care to patients from Salina and north central Kansas,” said Joel Phelps, President/CEO at Salina Regional Health Center. “Our partnership with the University of Kansas Cancer Center through the Masonic Cancer Alliance allows our patients access to many of the same clinical trials patients in Kansas City have access to – right here, close to home.”

“We are so pleased with and proud of the work being done across KU Cancer Center’s catchment area at our Masonic Cancer Alliance (MCA) member sites,” said Gary Doolittle, M.D., professor of clinical oncology and medical director of the MCA. “As the outreach network of KU Cancer Center, MCA sites like Tammy Walker Cancer Center have done a tremendous job for more than a decade now bringing outreach activities to their communities, offering access to clinical trials to their patients close to home, participating in professional development and much more. We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Tammy Walker Cancer Center and look forward to continuing to work toward conquering cancer together.”


Salina medical oncologist/hematologist Jeffrey Geitz, MD, and Gary Doolittle, MD, medical director for the Masonic Cancer Alliance spoke at a recent celebration at the Tammy Walker Cancer Center recognizing the TWCC’s role in helping the University of Kansas Cancer Center achieve comprehensive designation from the National Cancer Institute last summer. – Photo via Salina Regional Health Center