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Yeatman: Gibbs will be 'a lighthouse' for everyone seeking a cure

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, May 19, 2016

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Dr. Timothy Yeatman, director and president of the Gibbs Cancer & Research Institute, called the patient-focused care a “3-D” plan designed to discover, develop and deliver “the best possible care for our patients.”
 

Jim Fair

Dr. Timothy Yeatman, director and president of the Gibbs Cancer & Research Institute, called the patient-focused care a “3-D” plan designed to discover, develop and deliver “the best possible care for our patients.”

 

When the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute at Pelham is completed in 2018, it is to be among the premier of such facilities in the country.

But Dr. Timothy Yeatman, director and president of the Gibbs Cancer & Research Institute, said he wants it to be “a lighthouse” for everyone seeking a cure. “Cancer disrupts the whole family,” Yeatman said. “We want to keep families together, so we’re providing a very patient-focused approach that will bring the very best care right here, locally.”

Yeatman called the patient-focused care a “3-D” plan designed to discover, develop and deliver “the best possible care for our patients.”

The $65 million facility is designed with the patient in mind, both aesthetically and logistically.

Each floor of the building will host patients suffering from different forms of cancer. For instance, breast cancer patients will be on one floor with their specialists, oncologists, surgeons and radiologists working together. Another floor would have leukemia patients with their medical teams working together.

That tact of comprehensive treatment is taken from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which is recognized as the top such facility in the nation. The conceptual design of the building also centers on the needs of the patients, inside and out of their hospital rooms.

“Putting the building together, the size of it, and having the multi-disciplinary floors, that was part of the prerequisites,” said Dr. James Bearden, leading oncologist and hematologist with the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute.

“Providing a safe place to come that’s close to home, that’s important. To construct a building that’s not threatening, that is appealing to the vision and doesn’t look like a mausoleum is important. It incorporates light, water features and gardens, and that makes this tough disease that is so difficult a little easier to bear. It does make a huge difference.”

The Spartanburg Regional Foundation is tackling the task of raising $15 million for the Pelham facility.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the technology to move forward for a cancer cure,” said Dr. Ashley Allen, chairman of the Spartanburg Regional Foundation board. “It’s wonderful to have it here in the Upstate. … This will truly become a national and international center for cancer treatment.”

In addition to international and national treatment, the Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute leaders plan to offer universal care.

“Disparities of care clearly exist in health, but it’s our task to care for all of those who enter our doors, regardless of one’s ability to pay,” said Spartanburg Regional President and CEO Bruce Holstein.

The Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute in Spartanburg and its sister center at Pelham are only the beginnings of a larger lighthouse.

“Nationally, we’re building a nationwide network of like-minded hospitals as a consortium that will share clinical data and research data,” Yeatman said. “We can go to big pharma and bring those trials here instead of trials going only to Houston and New York – MD Anderson and Memorial – we want to bring them to the Gibbs and other like-minded community centers. We’re building a huge nationwide network to do that, but it all started here.

“That’s what I’m talking about as the lighthouse effect. Where we’re going to innovate and then ultimately export things that work.”

 

 

 

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