Fran Boston: My name is Fran. I am a Care Manager at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
I have been a nurse for 29 years. We at the care management are the safety net for the patient and we are their single point of contact for anything that they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are the ones that a lot of the information flows into to get to the patient and we are the ones generally the patient will contact first in order to ask questions, to get information.
We help them navigate through the system because the healthcare system, especially when you are receiving treatment for something like cancer, can be really confusing and we really minimize that a lot for the patient and the caregiver by making things as simple as possible.
When you have been diagnosed with cancer you don’t want to have to wait weeks to find out if it has spread. You need to know that immediately and at CTCA if you have been diagnosed with cancer and you need a CAT scan or an MRI, you don’t have to wait weeks. We do that immediately for you and get the results immediately to the patients.
When patients come to us as new patients we will see them on their first day. We will do any diagnostic testing on the second day that they are there and on the third day we offer a treatment plan, and if it’s a treatment plan that they are willing to start immediately, we will start it immediately.
So someone can come to us on a Monday and be in treatment on a Wednesday because we believe that that’s what a cancer patient not only wants but deserves.
All the clinicians work together. They talk together. We meet three times a week and discuss the patients. The supplements are all related to the treatment plan that’s developed by the medical oncologist. The nutrition is related to what’s best for the patient based on the chemotherapy. So it’s all very well integrated and it’s all an individualized plan for each patient.
My very first encounter with Nicole was on the phone and I took her phone number home with me and I called her in the evening and finally got in touch with her, and that was my first time to have a conversation with her and at that time I felt she was just delightful.
I believe that she could sense that we were different; that we are what we say we are, and that she knew that we cared about her and would support her and provide everything that she was looking for – the nutrition, the naturopathy, the support through care management, the support of her husband.
I helped Maurice by supporting him, by answering all of his questions. The person who cares for the patient is incredibly important and Nicole would feel much better if she knows that Maurice is also being taken care of and his needs are also being met and that his questions and concerns are also being answered and respected as well as her own, because they are in this together. We are not just treating the patient but we are treating the whole family.
I believe in the mission and I believe in the total patient care aspect and in giving patients the empowerment to be able to make their own decisions and their own treatment options. I feel like I can do that here where I have never been able to do it anywhere before in my career.
There are other places that say that they are going to do these things, that say that they are going to give patients options and give the patients the ability to make decisions but they are not true to their word and Cancer Treatment Centers of America really does mean that and really we live that everyday for our patients.
I want people to know that CTCA is exactly what CTCA says it is, that a lot of people have said to me, “We thought that this couldn’t be true. We thought that this was just a big marketing hype”, and I want people to know that it is true, that we really do practice what we preach at CTCA.