Cancer patient shares the true meaning of "coordinated care"

Caregivers from across Mass General, including Mass General Imaging Chelsea, helped one cancer patient through her extensive treatment regime, including frequent imaging.

Left to Right: Angela Rais, RT (CT), Pamela Konieczny, RN, Carmen Henao, RSR, and Brian Salit, RT (MR).

Dr. Peter Slavin, president of Massachusetts General Hospital, recently received a detailed letter from a Mass General patient who had reached the two-year anniversary of her diagnosis with metastatic cancer. In the letter, the patient thanks and praises many caregivers from several different departments within Mass General, all of whom supported her through the long and difficult journey of her treatment. This underscores one of the major advantages of being a patient at the nation's No. 1 hospital: world-class experts from across the entire hospital providing coordinated care.

In addition, the patient thanked several members of Mass General Imaging, and specifically the team at Mass General Imaging Chelsea, where she had regular scans performed during her treatment. Excerpts from the patient's letter appear below:

You can imagine my happiness at being able to write to you on this day, the second anniversary of my diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer.

I am thankful for the entire facility of Mass General Imaging Chelsea, and for every caring staff member and technician. I am especially thankful to Pam, an IV nurse, whose understanding that goodness can flow from anything, including my diagnosis and any change I may have in prognosis, is inspirational. My time with Pam and Karen, another IV nurse, helps me as I mentally prepare for each scan. I am also grateful to two MRI technicians, Paul and Brian, who make this diagnostic test much easier by being so kind.

In addition, the convenience of the hours of operation at Mass General Imaging Chelsea, and the fact that a live person answers the telephone and makes scheduling as easy as possible, helps patients on a practical level, which in turn, helps the overall treatment.

There has always been hope for me in knowing that every patient-caregiver encounter is an opening to something sacred and healing. These caregivers have borne that out by participating fully, and by encouraging me to participate fully. They are all a tribute to this hospital.

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