March 1, 2021
A cancer diagnosis is startling for anyone at any age, but it’s particularly daunting for young adults. Whether they’ve already charted a life course or are still considering various paths, a cancer diagnosis can cast them adrift and leave them spinning, not knowing which direction to turn.
The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Young Adult Program helps young adults set a course after a cancer diagnosis. Designed for patients between the ages of 20 and 45, it’s a new support program for their unique challenges. It complements the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program, which has for years provided specialty care for cancers that commonly occur in people between the ages of 15 and 29, and the REACH for Survivorship Program, which serves patients of all ages. The cover story in this edition of Momentum is about how we’re helping young adults access support.
We also introduce two visionary leaders in this issue with profiles on Dr. Ben Ho Park, who heads the division of Hematology and Oncology, and Dr. Karen Winkfield, a radiation oncologist who is the newly named executive director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance. Another article explains how a physician and informatics expert is developing an expedited process to link cancer patients to the latest advancements in precision oncology. We also highlight other physicians who are guiding the expansion of Vanderbilt-Ingram’s clinical services.
Once again, Vanderbilt-Ingram has been awarded renewed funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) after receiving an “exceptional” score for our research impact and excellence in patient care. This places us in the top group of NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers.
As we welcome a new year and continue to focus on comprehensive cancer care and prevention, we welcome input from our patients, caregivers and families. Please see our back cover for information about participating in the VICC e-Advisory Group. We know that people diagnosed with cancer require more than disease treatment; they need personalized care. We’re committed to providing that care with exceptional expertise, proficiency and compassion.