A host of representatives from throughout the George Washington University (GW) health care community joined GW Cancer Center leadership on Oct. 17 to cut the ribbon on a new multi-disciplinary cancer clinical space in the ground floor of the GW Medical Faculty Associates (GW MFA) Ambulatory Care Center at 2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
The newly redeveloped clinic brings 4,600 square feet of additional space for cancer patients, dedicated primarily for solid tumor cancer treatment. Together with existing cancer resources on the first floor of the GW MFA including infusion space and the malignant hematology clinic for leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma patients, the new clinical facility adds 16 exam rooms, one procedural room, and a pair of consultation rooms that also will be used for clinical research discussions.
“We took an environment that wasn’t as conducive to patient care as we would have liked, and I think we have created a beautiful space,” said Robert E. Kelly, MD, CEO of the GW MFA. “That’s our down payment for what we plan to do for the GW Cancer Center. There is a lot more work we are going to be doing … to continue our efforts to become an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center.”
In 2015, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), GW Hospital, and the GW Medical Faculty Associates decided to make significant investments to establish the GW Cancer Center by bringing together all cancer-related activities under one umbrella and building a premier cancer center to serve the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.
“This dedicated floor for cancer clinical care and research will bring together hematologists, oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, pharmacists, social workers, [and] clinical investigators to provide in one place compassionate and multidisciplinary care,” said Eduardo M. Sotomayor, MD, director of the GW Cancer Center and professor of medicine at SMHS.
The space will serve as a one-stop facility for patients. Appointments can be scheduled for the same day, meaning patients won’t have to trek from one clinic to the next for their follow ups.
“We are breaking down silos,” added Sotomayor. “In the past, patients would have to go to different floors in the building to seek cancer care. This new clinic brings all of those experts to one location. Now, patients can come to one place to receive the appropriate care that they need.”
The new space also promises a more collegial atmosphere for providers, and offers the potential for face-to-face introductions, according to Sotomayor. “Now if a physician wants a multidisciplinary consult, you can stop someone and say ‘Do you have two minutes? I have a patient I would like you to see.”