UT Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center recently unveiled a variety of new services and care options to better serve patients in the Richardson and Plano areas. The recently expanded location on Waterview Parkway near The University of Texas at Dallas campus offers patients and their families specialized and compassionate cancer care along with the latest treatments and access to clinical trials.

“It’s unique to have this type of expert care in the community setting,” said Medical Director Dr. Suzanne Cole. “Our national recognition as a top cancer center is unmatched in North Texas, and, fortunately, people in this area don’t have to travel very far to receive our care.”

The recognitions that set Simmons Cancer Center apart include its ranking among the nation’s top 20 hospitals for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, Simmons Cancer Center has National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center status, an elite recognition that means it has met thorough standards for research, cancer care, education, prevention, and community outreach. It is also a member institution of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a nonprofit alliance of 33 distinguished comprehensive cancer centers throughout the United States.

In Richardson, Simmons Cancer Center providers care for patients with any form of cancer. Experts include medical oncologists, a surgical oncologist, and a gynecologic oncologist, as well as oncology advanced proactive providers, specialized nurses, genetic counselors, pharmacists, dietitians, and social workers, all collaborating in one place.

With infusion, or chemotherapy, often being a cancer treatment administered daily or weekly, Simmons Cancer Center’s recent expansion at its Richardson location increased the number of chairs for infusion therapy from 12 to 22 to accommodate more patients. The hours for infusion also increased to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

During the expansion planning, staff incorporated feedback from younger cancer patients who expressed interest in wanting to be around other young adults during their infusion treatments.

“That’s why our renovated infusion space designates four of the infusion chairs as ‘communal’ for those who want more social interaction, while the remaining 18 infusion chairs are private,” said Director of Oncology Clinical Operations Charlene Stein.

Support is paramount when facing a cancer diagnosis, and the staff at Simmons prioritize high-quality care and connection.

Nursing Supervisor Janice Delapaz said prior to starting chemotherapy, patients go through an in-depth education session to inform and prepare them for treatment.

“The more they know on the front end, the better they feel,” Delapaz said.

This educational support comes from an advanced practice provider who discusses the infusion process and the potential side effects with patients. Delapaz said patients who receive chemotherapy often experience nausea and loss of appetite, so Simmons’ onsite dietitian also helps them manage their nutritional needs.

For patients and family members, onsite social workers are a crucial piece of the support system. They help families with transportation needs and insurance concerns and connect individuals with support groups.

Other patient services at the Waterview Parkway location include advanced imaging, such as computed tomography (CT) scans, X-rays, and ultrasounds, as well as an on-site lab.

One of the many advantages that sets Simmons Cancer Center apart from other cancer care providers is the robust research physicians have available to them. Discoveries in the lab at UT Southwestern are routinely translated into real-world applications. This means Simmons Cancer Center patients can more easily access new treatments through clinical trials.

It’s all very comfortable and family-oriented,” Clinic Staff Supervisor Shilpa Mathew said. “Patients always say that when they come to Richardson.”

Simmons Cancer Center’s mission is to ease the burden of cancer through ground-breaking discovery, transdisciplinary research, impactful community engagement, education, diversity, equity, and exceptional patient care in North Texas.

For more information about Simmons Cancer Center, visit the website or call 214-645-4673 for an appointment.

The above story was produced by Senior Multi Platform Journalist Summer El-Shahawy with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of its "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.