By Jonathan Weinbach, Chief Executive Officer
This week is national Patient Experience Week, which is the ideal time to take a moment to recognize the strong, brave and resilient patients we treat at the New York Proton Center (NYPC) and talk about how we think about caring for our patients. Because at NYPC, ensuring an exceptional experience for every patient is the top priority, each and every day.
For many people, the idea of going for medical care brings to mind an unpleasant experience – burdensome paperwork, logistical hassles and the feeling of being a number rather than a human being. And for those fighting cancer, these challenges are multiplied many times over.
NYPC makes it our priority not only to provide excellent clinical care, but to remove as many headaches as possible from the treatment process. We want proton therapy to be the best possible experience for those in our care. The very intentional, patient-focused culture of NYPC is reflected in everything from the enthusiastic way patients are greeted by our receptionists, to the individualized care we provide. Above all, we aim to treat our patients with the same care, attention and empathy we would show our own family members.
A critical component of this commitment is clarity of communication. At NYPC, we focus on communicating early, often and as clearly as possible. There is rarely certainty when it comes to fighting cancer, and our team is committed to being honest and direct with our patients.
But there is more to exceptional care than great communication. We ensure our patients have access to a 360-degree treatment team that not only includes a world class radiation oncologist, but also a dedicated radiation therapy team, physicists, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, child-life specialists and more to care for each individual patients’ needs and concerns.
Every cancer is unique, every patient is unique. We approach everyone who walks through our doors as an individual, assessing their care on a case-by-case basis. We take our personalized approach seriously – whether it’s something as critical as understanding a patient’s medical history or simply their taste in music so we can create a customized playlist for treatment sessions.
To be sure, the past year has been one of the most challenging for our staff and patients alike.
The pandemic meant that we had to implement new restrictions and social distancing measures to keep patients and staff safe. I’m tremendously grateful to our outstanding team that went above and beyond to ensure a positive experience where patients felt comfortable, safe and at home at a time when many were hesitant to visit healthcare providers.
In our first 18 months of operations we have treated more than 1,000 patients – the quickest any proton center has reached this milestone. This speaks to the tremendous need and benefits of proton therapy and the outstanding clinical partners – Memorial Sloan Kettering, Mount Sinai, and Montefiore – that have helped make NYPC the special place it has become in the New York healthcare landscape.
At NYPC, we listen to every word and pay close attention to every detail. We work tirelessly to make our center feel like a tight-knit community that feels familiar and welcoming every time you come in.
This Patient Experience Week we celebrate our dedicated and hardworking staff who have demonstrated in the past year why NYPC is singular in our field. But most importantly, we celebrate our patients who are at the center of everything we do and the reason we get up every morning.