Medical oncologist Manish Bhandari, MD, and his family recently directed a $25,000 gift to The Christ Hospital Foundation to fund high-risk cancer screening clinic access for those patients in financial need.
Precision Medicine at The Christ Hospital has grown to include a High-Risk Cancer Screening Clinic. The clinic provides genetic risk evaluation, testing and counseling as well as advanced screening and imaging for individuals at increased risk for cancer due to a number of risk factors.
"I believe that genetic testing and understanding your own risk factors are crucial components in an individual's fight against cancer," noted Dr. Bhandari. He continued, noting "the individual's financial status should not be a factor in providing them with this life-saving information."
"We are so pleased to be able to facilitate this generous gift from the Bhandari family," said Rick Kammerer, president of The Christ Hospital Foundation. "The Christ Hospital is a not-for-profit organization, and we are proud that 100 percent of any donation we receive is reinvested back into the network to assist our patients, clinicians, employees and to grow our access and options for patients."
Having this information allows patients to make proactive treatment decisions (for example, BRCA-positive patients may opt for mastectomy due to their high risk for breast cancer.) According to Precision Medicine Director Dr. Burns C. Blaxall, "a key component of precision medicine is a transition from reactive to preventative health care."
For those patients who meet the guidelines for higher-than-average cancer risk AND meet the financial need requirements, the Bhandari family gift covers the cost of the clinic, which includes sequential visits with a genetic counselor and an advanced practice provider on the same day.
"I wanted to support the High-Risk Cancer Screening Clinic because this is a critical part of the oncology treatment equation," noted Dr. Bhandari. "Patients can make more informed decisions, and physicians can use the data to individualize treatment. Now it can be available to all, regardless of financial constraints."
Learn more about the High-Risk Screening Clinic in this Q&A.