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St. Mary Medical Center Receives Indiana Cancer Consortium Award for Outstanding Cancer Control


St. Mary Medical Center has received the Indiana Cancer Consortium’s Organizational Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Control 2017. Manager of Cancer Care Services Roxanne Karnes accepted the award on behalf of St. Mary Medical Center’s entire Cancer Care Support Services Team, Wednesday, April 26, at the Indiana Cancer Consortium’s annual meeting in Indianapolis.

The statewide award recognizes St. Mary Medical Center’s efforts to control and prevent cancer in the community through free and reduced-priced screenings and exams, outreach events, support services and community education.

“St. Mary Medical Center’s Cancer Care Team is dedicated to compassionate integrative care for our cancer patients and cancer survivors,” said CEO Janice Ryba. “Customizing treatment and support care plans to each individual is a hallmark of our Cancer Care Center. We are honored that the Indiana Cancer Care Consortium recognizes the contributions of our physicians, professional and support staff. Our team has targeted programs centered around prevention, reduction and control of cancer in our communities.”

The Indiana Cancer Consortium is the state’s comprehensive cancer control coalition. The group works to reduce cancer occurrence in Indiana through the development, implementation and evaluation of a statewide plan to prevent, detect and treat cancer.

The Indiana Cancer Consortium consists of 10 districts throughout Indiana. St. Mary Medical Center, a hospital with the Community Healthcare System, is part of District 1, which includes Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties.

Screenings, education and early detection are vital components of cancer care at St. Mary Medical Center. In March, the hospital hosted a physician presentation about the risks, symptoms, treatment and genetic predisposition of colon cancer, the third most common cancer in men and women. Also in March, the Cancer Care Center distributed free Fecal Occult Blood Test kits, which allow individuals to collect test samples at home and return them to the lab for a free colon cancer screening.

Through the month of May the hospital hosts Melanoma Mondays, a series of free skin-cancer screenings at outpatient locations in Hobart, Portage and Valparaiso. Twice annually, St. Mary hosts the Pap-A-Thon, a women’s health fair where participants can receive free pap smears, clinical breast exams, bone density screenings, certified bra fittings and other services. In the past two years, an additional 240 women have received screenings for cervical cancer through the Pap-a-Thon programs.

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Along with sister hospitals Community Hospital, Munster and St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago, St. Mary Medical Center offers discounted mammography specials every May and October to encourage women to have these potentially life-saving early-detection screenings. For women whose risk of breast cancer is higher than normal, prevention, education and surveillance services are offered through the High-Risk Breast Clinics.

“It’s about education and early screening to increase people’s awareness and encourage them to be proactive and get regular screenings,” Karnes said about the hospital’s support and outreach programs. “Some people are afraid to get it done. I think coming to these events, together with a friend or a family member, helps them encourage each other to get those things done.

“It is because of our leadership, our staff, and our volunteers that we are able to have the programs and events that we do,” she continued. “We have support from the lab, from registration, from the Women’s Diagnostic Center, from Innovative Women’s Health and several other departments. It is a team effort.”

St. Mary Medical Center also offers a Palliative Care program for patients and families facing cancer or other serious, chronic or potentially terminal illnesses. Palliative Care brings together physicians, nurses and support staff to provide for patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual comfort throughout their care.

St. Mary Medical Center’s Cancer Care Center offers the latest technological tools in the battle against cancer, including the TrueBeam® system – a groundbreaking image-guided radiotherapy system that allows oncologists to treat tumors when they are very small. Beginning this May, the Cancer Care Center will utilize the new Siemens Biograph™ PET/CT scanner to expand patient access to the latest and most efficient diagnostic procedures.

Chairman of the hospital’s Cancer Care Committee and Oncologist Peter Tothy, MD, said that St. Mary Medical Center’s education and early detection efforts complement its advanced cancer therapies and technologies.

“We continue to strive to make a very positive impact on cancer prevention and treatment within our community,” Tothy said.

For more information about the Indiana Cancer Consortium, go to http://indianacancer.org/

To learn more about comprehensive cancer care through the hospitals of Community Healthcare System: St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, Community Hospital in Munster and our physicians and services, visit comhs.org/services/cancer-care.

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