In a guest post, Declan Fleming, MD, FACS, shares his plans to identify and address some of the most significant cancer-related problems in Central Texas. Fleming is associate director for surgical services at the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes and an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at Dell Medical School.
I want to be part of a vital, inclusive health ecosystem — one where all members of our community can get the level of cancer care anyone would want for a member of the family. That’s why I’m pleased to join the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes of the Dell Medical School as we begin our work to identify the most significant cancer-related problems in Central Texas.
As co-chair, along with Scott Wallace, of the Institutes’ Cancer Clinical Enterprise, I hope to lead the effort to discover how a partnership between community physicians and Dell Med might address those problems. We want to look not only at areas where gaps in service might exist, but also to work together to ensure that every patient gets the best possible outcome from his or her treatments.
The Clinical Care Enterprise team wants to hear ideas from both our patients and our colleagues in the cancer care community about how best to address those gaps. We will partner closely with one another to create multidisciplinary teams that coordinate care and measure outcomes.
Our commitment to increasing the value of the care that patients receive will allow us to be learners who evolve our practice to deliver not only the best possible medical, surgical and radiation oncology care, but also to offer support services that improve the lives of patients and their families. Additionally, we will work to create opportunities for patients and clinicians to partner with researchers to improve treatment and support through the entire continuum of care.
On a personal level, I feel fortunate to have been a member of the Austin medical community since 2001, and have been privileged to work with my physician colleagues to deliver high quality care to our patients for these past 16 years.
During that time, we have seen many lives lengthened and improved, but some are still unable to receive the care they need here in Austin, while others feel they cannot get the type of care they want. The work we do will be vital in improving the lives of Austinites and all Central Texans. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish.