Did You Know the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center has a “Tumor Board?”


Duke Cancer Center Palliative Care Team (relieving pain without dealing with the underlying cause).

LAST WEEK WE INDICATED THAT THIS WEEK WE HOPED TO PROVIDE YOU with a follow-up article about the relationship between the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center and the Duke Cancer Network with answers to the following questions:

Do people from Duke come here and if so what do they do?

Do people from here go there and if so what do they do?

Is Duke only used if the Scully-Welsh Center needs help – or is there some ongoing regimen (e.g. weekly conference calls)?

Does the Scully-Welsh share medical records with Duke so Duke can help evaluate cases and assist with best practices etc.?

How much did it cost to become affiliated and is there an ongoing cost?

Did IRMC need to become affiliated with Duke in order to develop the Scully-Welsh Center?

Thanks to the research of Lewis Clark, Jr., Indian River Medical Center V.P. Marketing, Corporate Communication  & Digital Media, we have the following to report:


Lewis Clark, Jr.

First of all, the Indian River Medical Center could have been able to develop the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center without the Duke Cancer Network; but it would have taken longer to develop, it would not have benefited from Duke’s expertise in designing the process flow of the facility, it would not have benefited from medical collaboration and, perhaps most importantly, it would not have been able to offer clinical research.

In terms of designing the process flow of the facility, Mr. Clark referred to how Duke advised, during the building stage, how to develop the flow of departments (which departments are next to each other) and the flow of services.

Additionally, a Duke Cancer design team helped to develop the plans, processes and management for the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center’s new out-patient pharmacy, where drugs are mixed for chemotherapy.

Yes, people from the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center go to Duke and people from Duke come here.  A team of medical professionals come to the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center six to eight times a year to review various medical and educational programs.

Last year a leading Duke gastroenterologist specializing in the colon area travelled to  Vero Beach to provide a lecture for the community and Scully-Welsh Cancer Center physicians.

This year, recently, Scully-Welsh Cancer Center’s Director of Oncology, Lori McCormick and Clinical Research Director Wanda Kay North went to Duke to complete a Continuing  Medical Education Program.

All of Lori McCormick’s nurses in her Oncology unit have been certified through the Duke Continuing Education Program.

Duke physicians and specialists are available 24/7 to assist Scully-Welsh Cancer Center physicians with various cases through Skype-type video conferencing, where these professionals are able to brainstorm and collaborate on the best course of treatment.

Now to the Tumor Board.

Under the leadership of Ms. McCormick, the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center has established a Tumor Board.

Lauri McCormick

Lori McCormick

The Tumor Board is the joining together of all medical professionals involved in each case to collaborate on the best course of treatment for each patient.

The Board would, for example, include the radiologist, pathologist, physician, oncologist and nurse.  It would evaluate, for example, the uniqueness of the case and whether or not a 50 year old male with prostate cancer should first have surgery or radiation.

The charts associated with this case could / would be shared with Duke medical professionals for their counsel and recommendations.

We began this article with a photograph of the Duke Cancer Center Palliative Care Team.

Palliative care is one of the next steps in the development of the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center.  Ms. McCormick will soon be receiving a report from Duke Palliative Care Team on how to approach and set-up best practices to enhance a Palliative Care program within the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center.

In terms of the cost of having Scully-Welsh Cancer Center become affiliated with the Duke Cancer Network, Mr. Clark indicated IRMC does not release those financials.  He indicated, however, that you essentially get what you pay for.

In an associated article, Dr. Milsten referred to the importance of the Scully-Welsh Navigator Program.  We will endeavor to provide you with those details next week.

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