The Community Cancer Center's new medical director, Dr. Shermian Woodhouse, is working with Executive Director Barb Nathan and will oversee the development of the cancer program, including multidisciplinary care, quality initiatives, adoption and education on standards of care, research, professional education, cancer control and community outreach.
She also will serve as chief radiation oncologist for Cancer Care Associates at the cancer center in Normal.
Formerly an associate professor of radiation oncology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons-New York Presbyterian Hospital, Woodhouse is a board-certified radiation oncologist, and has expertise in treating breast and gastrointestinal cancers.
As quality assurance and improvement director for Columbia's radiation oncology department, she led numerous patient-centered initiatives to improve quality of care, patient satisfaction and safety.
Woodhouse received her medical degree from Howard University in 1993.
She completed her residency in radiation oncology at Columbia University-New York Presbyterian Hospital in 1998, serving as chief resident in 1997-98.
She has a master's degree
in public health-health policy and Management from Colum-bia University's Joseph Mailman School of Public
Her specialty is breast cancer, though she is experienced with a broad spectrum of cancer diagnoses.
She speaks nationally on topics related to breast cancer and quality of care in oncol-ogy.
Woodhouse wrote the following message to the community for The Pantagraph's Breast Cancer Awareness special section:
"I am looking forward to collaborating with the physicians in the community to continue the process of developing and elevating the quality of cancer care in Bloomington-Normal. I was delighted to see a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer care already being conducted at the cancer center, where a group of physicians representing all the involved disciplines - radiation oncology, medical oncology, surgery, pathology and radiology - meet regularly to discuss breast cancer cases.
"We used a similar approach at Columbia. The advantage is that patients get the benefit of pooled knowledge from physicians with different areas of expertise and there is improved communication between all members of the team.
"It is important for patients to know that they can expect to receive exceptional cancer care right here in Bloomington-Normal. I have the pleasure of working with two well-trained, board-certified radiation oncologists, Dr. Don Stacy and Dr. Brad Collett, along with a full complement of trained professionals. We all work together to take care of the individual needs of the patient, not just their disease.
"We have state-of-the-art technology, which allows us to deliver individually tailored radiation treatments to the intended areas while minimizing the dose to normal tissues. For breast cancer patients, for example, we have specialized technology to reduce the amount of radiation to the heart and lungs, which was a concern with older treatment techniques. For carefully selected patients, there are shorter alternatives to the standard six- to seven-week course of radiation. Some patients are eligible for partial breast radiation treatment which focuses the radiation to the original location of the tumor twice daily over the course of about one week."