The physicians and staff of Winship Cancer Institute (Winship) at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital (ESJH) have shown tremendous resilience during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to meeting the daily needs of patients who must continue cancer treatments, including extensive screening measures at the entrances to keep coronavirus out of the clinics, the staff has successfully and quickly recovered from unanticipated events, including flooding in treatments areas and a power outage.
"No matter what is going on, the people of Winship at Emory Saint Joseph's rise to the challenge. We have a mix of community and academic oncology, so we fit the bill of cutting edge treatment and research in a community hospital setting, close to home,” says Vanessa Bramble, interim director of operations for Winship at the Emory Saint Joseph’s Campus. "This is a wonderful Winship location."
Winship at Saint Joseph's combines community oncology with the specialized services and resources that define Winship as Georgia's National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. Winship at ESJH offers patients access to over 300 clinical trials that test novel treatments not yet available through standard clinical practice. Recently, ESJH opened a Phase III clinical trial testing low dose whole lung radiation therapy for patients with COVID pneumonia. This innovative trial aims to reduce the pulmonary inflammation that threatens a COVID-19 patient’s ability to breathe.
The services provided by Winship at Emory Saint Joseph's have grown to meet expanded demand for cancer treatment in north Fulton County. New faculty who recently joined Winship at ESJH include Jamie M. Goldman, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist with a focus on genitourinary cancer; Mihir M. Shah, MD, surgical oncologist specializing in the surgical management of tumors of the liver, pancreas, biliary tree, stomach, esophagus, or other organs; and Nikhil T. Sebastian, MD, radiation oncologist treating patients with lung and breast cancer.
"We have built an outstanding team of physicians who provide the best of patient-centered care," says Bramble.
A year-long multimillion dollar redesign and renovation in 2016 physically transformed and expanded Winship treatment areas, clinical space, and technology. More recently, Winship at ESJH opened a dedicated HDR (high dose rate) room for brachytherapy, a treatment used to deliver high intensity sources of radiation close to a tumor and upgraded existing radiation oncology technologies such as the Gamma Knife Icon.
Winship at ESJH multidisciplinary teams include medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgical specialists, as well as valuable patient resource specialists such as a dieticians, genetic counseling, and social workers. The community oncology program, led by director Stephen Szabo, MD, provides comprehensive care for patients with many types of cancer; Shannon Kahn, MD, is medical director of radiation oncology at ESJH; David Kooby, MD, is director of surgical oncology.
"Winship at Emory Saint Joseph's is a great example of how patients can gain greater access to advanced cancer treatment in their own neighborhood," says Winship Executive Director Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, the Lawrence W. Davis Chair in Radiation Oncology and the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Chair in Cancer Research. "We're here to support one another in giving the very best cancer care, enlightened by the research that’s being done today in our own centers."