For four years in a row, the Mercy Cancer Center at Mercy Medical Center has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer.
“It’s pretty remarkable that a community hospital in Canton, Ohio, can win this type of award. A tiny percentage of cancer centers in the U.S. have that kind of track record,” said Dr. Gregory Boone, a surgeon at Mercy who specializes in breast cancer.
“It demonstrates that you are able to get care in your community that’s as good as you’d find anywhere else. We have the technology to do what the larger centers have. We go above and beyond to make sure we meet the highest standards.”
Asked what makes the cancer program at Mercy outstanding, Boone said, “We have a great team effort. We all work together and communicate well. We regularly have multidisciplinary conferences with radiologists, pathologists, both medical and radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons and members of our nursing staff all sitting around the table. We talk about every newly diagnosed patient and how we are planning to treat them. It never fails to surprise me how I walk out of those conferences with new ideas.”
At Mercy Cancer Center, doctors always focus their care on the individual rather than the disease.
“The focus is always on the patient. We don’t treat the disease, we treat people who have the disease,” Boone said. “I’ve been on the receiving end of a cancer diagnosis, and I understand. We look at people’s emotional needs. We have specific breast cancer support groups and general cancer support groups. If they need counseling above that, we have referrals we can make to psychologists in the area. We take care of a fair amount of indigent patients. Sometimes just getting to their appointments is a struggle.”
Boone’s personal experience with cancer has given him a heightened awareness of patients’ varied needs.
“We make a lot of effort to be there for the patient from the day their first abnormality is found throughout their entire journey. It’s great people (at Mercy) that really makes us good—dedicated folks who really care and strive to do their very best.”