Introducing Dr. Rivera
I am honored to join the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center leadership team as medical director. This is an unprecedented opportunity to provide comprehensive, integrated cancer care in Arizona, and I’m excited to get started!
I moved here from Houston just a few weeks ago, and am learning my way around the Valley. In Houston, I was the medical director for Methodist Hospital’s Breast Center and am trained as a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer. I received my medical training at MD Anderson and served as medical director for the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center and an associate professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience in academic and community hospital medicine to the development of our cancer program.
There are many activities that need to take place to ensure we are ready and able to care for our patients on opening day – September 26, 2011. Thus, I would like to share with you my three top priorities.
My first priority is to finalize the cancer center’s physician leadership including the selection of the seven section chiefs in the areas of medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, internal medicine, pathology, medical imaging and anesthesia/critical care. Once these physicians are in place, we can begin recruiting the more than 70 physicians needed to support the cancer center.
Second on my list is ensuring the highest quality patient care. We must be prepared on day one to offer comprehensive, integrated cancer care at the level expected by both Banner Health and MD Anderson. To achieve this, we will identify the protocols and care practices to be implemented from MD Anderson, and make sure all physicians are well versed in this type of multidisciplinary care – the cornerstone of the MD Anderson model that will make the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center so unique.
We will provide treatment for most types of cancer; however we will have a focus on seven major tumor sites. These are breast, lung, prostate, gastrointestinal, gynecological and skin cancers, and the category of liquid tumors which includes leukemia, lymphoma and hematology.
My third focus is research. We are working with Banner Research and MD Anderson to explore options for cancer research in Arizona. Access to research trials is a significant part of a well-rounded, fully comprehensive cancer treatment program. More to come as these details are developed.
I am looking forward to meeting you, and hope you can join me at a special physician reception on February 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Banner Gateway Medical Center. Please RSVP to Mary Jo Petrie, Director of Physician Resources, at (480) 543-2279 or e-mail.