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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Legislators tour new cancer clinic

    Dr. Patti Stumbo guides members of the Arizona Legislature on a tour through the new Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic on Friday. Stumbo is nurse manager at the Arizona Cancer Center, which has the lowest state budget of any cancer center in the nation.
    Dr. Patti Stumbo guides members of the Arizona Legislature on a tour through the new Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic on Friday. Stumbo is nurse manager at the Arizona Cancer Center, which has the lowest state budget of any cancer center in the nation.

    Correction
    In Monday’s “”Legislators tour new cancer clinic,”” Rep. Olivia Cajero Bedford was identified as “”D-Phoenix.”” Rep. Bedford represents Tucson and the University of Arizona. The Wildcat regrets the error.

    Arizona legislators toured a new clinic Friday in the Arizona Cancer Center to discuss the latest research the center has conducted and learn more about the center’s biggest obstacle: funding.

    The Peter and Paula Fasseas Cancer Clinic, the first building of many to be constructed on the new campus, is a collaboration between the Arizona Cancer Center and University Medical Center North, said Gregory Pivirotto, president and CEO of UMC.

    But one of the challenges the new center on North Campbell Avenue faces is a lack of money to conduct expensive cancer research, said Dr. David Alberts, the center’s director.

    “”We have the smallest state budget of any cancer center,”” Alberts said. “”Our state line is $360,000.””

    The total money awarded for research throughout the state last year was $48.9 million, he added. The center’s annual budget is $68 million.

    Arizona House Bill 2221 would appropriate $15 million in fiscal year 2009-2010 to the Department of Health Services for distribution to health care institutions for cancer research and treatment, education and prevention of cancers unique to women, according to the bill’s summary.

    “”If we can get it to the governor, I think it would have a good chance of passing,”” said Rep. Olivia Cajero

    Bedford, D-Phoenix, one of the bill’s sponsors, who attended the tour.

    If organizations and individuals know the state is involved and that their money is going toward good programs, they would be more inclined to provide financial support, Cajero

    Bedford said.

    The clinic is dedicated to providing not just clinical care for the patients, but also for the social, psychological and emotional needs of patients and their families, Pivirotto said.

    “”When you look at cancer care, there is nothing like us all the way from Texas to California, and we have a real mission to serve all of the Southwest,”” Pivirotto said.

    Added Karen Mlawsky, vice president of administration for UMC North and oncology services: “”We believe you’re on a journey when you get cancer, and (it) impacts all sorts of parts and aspects of your life.””

    The center features many services in single locations, Mlawsky said.

    In one area, there is a procedural clinic for ultrasounds alongside two infusion clinics where patients can receive chemotherapy and other infusion treatments, Mlawsky said. Additionally, a cafǸ with healthy food and a boutique with products specifically for cancer patients are available, she said.

    One-third of the center’s space is devoted to treating cancers affecting women, Alberts said.

    “”We plan to be the No. 1 place in the country for women to get their care,”” he said.

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