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Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center Becomes Region's Only National Pancreas Foundation Cancer Center

Published: Feb. 11, 2019

OMAHA – The National Pancreas Foundation has recognized Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center as an approved Pancreatic Cancer Center. The important designation puts Methodist in elite company with fewer than 50 other centers nationwide.

“I’m very proud of Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center to be recognized as the only such program in Nebraska and Iowa,” said Dr. George Dittrick, a surgical oncologist and program director for pancreatic cancer treatment at Methodist. “It is a tremendous commendation to all the providers and support staff here who care for pancreatic cancer patients.”

An NPF Pancreatic Cancer Center designation is awarded after a rigorous audit review to determine that an institution’s focus is on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer, treating the “whole patient” with a focus on the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life.

“Pancreatic cancer can be a very challenging diagnosis for patients in many ways,” Dr. Dittrick said. “This designation recognizes Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center as a place patients can go where all those challenges will be met with the highest level of care and compassion.”

The NPF criteria, which are reviewed by invited subject matter experts and patient advocates, include having required expert physician specialties such as pancreatic surgeons, medical oncologists, gastroenterologists and interventional radiologists along with more patient-focused programs like pain management service and psychosocial support.

“Methodist patients can know they will be cared for by professionals who have expertise and experience with this difficult disease at every level of care,” Dr. Dittrick said. “Our team includes surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, dietitians, social workers and countless other physicians and support staff.”

Founded in 1997, the National Pancreas Foundation provides hope for those suffering from pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer by funding cutting-edge research, advocating for new and better therapies, and providing support and education for patients, caregivers and health care professionals.

The goal of the NPF Pancreatic Cancer Center designation is to facilitate the development of high-quality, multidisciplinary approaches for the field. Designated centers also seek to advance research and lead the way for heightened awareness and understanding of pancreatic disease and related conditions among community physicians, allied health professionals, patients, families and the general public.

“For all the providers at Methodist, this gives validation to the wonderful care they have been providing for many, many years,” Dr. Dittrick said. “It’s not only recognition for the work that has been done with countless patients, but also a challenge to maintain and improve that level of excellence, offering patients the highest level of care as advances in pancreatic cancer treatment continue to develop.”