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The Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center celebrated 10 years of accomplishments and successes this week, as BWH and DFCI leaders, staff and patients came together in a packed Jimmy Fund Auditorium on Wednesday.
The DF/BWCC grew from a joint venture forged in the 1990s, in many cases taking two programs and making them into one. Together, DFCI and BWH have grown more and achieved more than would have been possible without this partnership, BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, said.
“Together, we truly have a limitless future, defined to some extent by what we’ve accomplished in such a short time,” he said, noting that patient visits have increased 219 percent and annual patient discharges 50 percent in the last decade.
Michael Zinner, MD, surgeon in-chief at BWH and clinical director of the DF/BWCC, elaborated on plans for the center’s future. “We’ll change the way we care for people,” he said. “Cancer treatment will become individualized at the molecular level, and we will personalize it.”
The DF/BWCC will broaden the scope of care and collaborate with other non-oncology specialists to care for complications that survivors might suffer as a result of cancer treatment.
“Our partnership demonstrates what the power of sharing resources can truly accomplish,” DFCI President and DF/BWCC Director Ed Benz, MD, said.
James Griffin, MD, chair of Medical Oncology at DFCI and chief of Medical Oncology at BWH, and Patricia Reid Ponte, RN, DNSc, senior vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nurse at DFCI and director of Oncology Nursing and Clinical Services at BWH, reflected on the coming together of two world-class institutions.
“It was all about the power of diversity and our differences and putting them to work for our patients and families,” said Reid Ponte. “We realized we could learn from one another and produce something even better.”
The involvement of patients and families in improving the center has been one of the hallmarks of the DF/BWCC since its formation. “When you ask the patients, you get it right the first time,” said Janet Porter, chief operating officer of DFCI and deputy director of the DF/BWCC, as she introduced Joseph Nies, original co-chair of the Adult Patient & Family Advisory Council, and current co-chair Brenda Henry Brown.
Nies told the audience about the importance of patients, families and providers working together. “With cancer, it’s a long road, and we can’t survive without all of the disciplines,” he said. “It’s all about the team.”
No celebration is complete without cake, and the DF/BWCC made certain that everyone received a piece. Two sheet cakes flanked the doors of the Jimmy Fund Auditorium, and large cakes were available in the lobbies of Faulkner Hospital and DFCI. At BWH, a 100-pound, frosted masterpiece sat in the Tower lobby for all to enjoy. Valerie Dicicco of Catering put 44 individual cakes together and topped them off with 20 pounds of whipped cream frosting to create the giant dessert.
“Everyone loves a whipped cream cake,” said Patricia Gleason-Claydon of Catering. She was right—the entire cake was devoured in 90 minutes.
See the DF/BWCC 10 Years video presentation Windows Media Player - Quicktime
See more photos on the media page