Oncology Extended Care Clinic opens at Smilow


Staff members check out one of the bright, open treatment areas in the new Oncology Extended Care Clinic on NP 12.

For Lorrie King, a March 28 ribbon-cutting for the new Oncology Extended Care Clinic at Smilow Cancer Hospital was especially meaningful.

The clinic will provide the kind of care her late husband, John, could have benefitted from during his battle with pancreatic cancer, said King, a member of Smilow's Patient-Family Advisory Committee.

Located on NP 12, the Extended Care Clinic (ECC) provides supportive care and symptom management for oncology patients who need priority medical attention outside their regular treatment appointments. ECC providers can treat cancer-related emergencies, provide pain management and care for patients with neutropenic fever, electrolyte imbalances and other cancer-related symptoms. The ECC is led by Benjamin Judson, MD, medical director; Bonnie Gould Rothberg, MD, PhD, attending physician; and Maureen Raucci, RN, patient service manager. It is staffed by oncology advanced practice providers, nurses and patient care associates.

During his last year, John King visited the emergency department three times, Lorrie said.

Twice he was admitted to an oncology unit but once, due to bed-management issues, was admitted to a different type of unit.

"This new clinic will help ensure that other patients and families won't have to go through this," she said. It took a number of years to develop the ECC, but the facility is equipped to provide the specialized care these patients need, said Rogerio Lilenbaum, MD, chief medical officer, Smilow Cancer Hospital.

"This is a patient-centered clinic," he said. "It's something we should all be proud of."

The ECC is open 7 am - 11 pm seven days a week. An appointment is required, from the patient's disease team provider or staff or, after hours and on weekends, from the oncology fellow. For information, call 203-200-3221 (ECC1).