Support Service for Breast Cancer Patients Hailed as Model of Innovation

By Robin Hindery, UCSF Today | September 21, 2009

A UCSF service that helps breast cancer patients navigate through difficult treatment decisions has been selected as a national model of care by the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation.

Decision Services, a 6-year-old program offered to patients of UCSF's Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, was one of three winners of a recent Center for Innovation competition focused on initiatives that are responding to human need to improve health care. Representatives from each program presented their work at the Mayo Clinic's annual Transform symposium in Minnesota on Sept. 15.

In his talk, UCSF Decision Services director Jeff Belkora, PhD, noted that while "a lot of progress has been made and cancer is no longer a death sentence, the treatments are very invasive...and the outcomes are still uncertain."

Patients need to be informed and involved in making sure they receive medical care that will address their concerns and fit their personal priorities, their work and their overall lives, Belkora said. That is the need Decision Services aims to meet.

The program provides new patients to the Breast Care Center with materials such as DVDs and informational booklets that cover topics ranging from pre-cancer to metastatic cancer.

Read more at Robin Hindery, UCSF Today