Kenneth L Abbott, MD, FACP  |  2/8/2022

There’s No Place Like Home

The oncology service at CHMC dedicates itself to providing the highest quality of care to our family members, neighbors, and friends dealing with cancer in Calvert County and the surrounding communities. While we are grateful for the availability of specialized expertise in the regional cancer centers—some of which are world-class institutions—we strive to offer the best treatment and support possible in our setting. From CHMC, in coordination with allied services in nearby facilities, you may expect the same level of diagnosis and initial treatment for the great majority of cancer types as you would receive at a dedicated cancer center. These centers are indeed excellent, an invaluable resource. But there are some advantages we offer at CHMC that may be harder to come by elsewhere.

As Dorothy Gale learned after her adventures in Oz, home is hard to beat. Chances are high that CHMC is a lot closer to your home than a major cancer center is. Home is the place that is most familiar to you, has all the comforts you have built up for yourself, and all the people that know and love you. When you’re unwell, your own place is the one you most prefer. Receiving treatment at CHMC allows you to stay at home.

Closer means easier to get to. Less travel time, the routes are known, the fuel expenditures far less. And we don’t charge for parking! For those who need it, transportation services within Southern Maryland can get you to your medical appointments and back home again.

With smaller size comes more personalized attention. We don’t deal in the great numbers of people that often crowd the facilities at a large referral center. At CHMC, you are an entire person with a known face and name, not merely a number attached to a chart, not just a “case.” Often the people you meet who are assisting in your care at all the various levels of support are your friends and neighbors, folks you are likely to encounter at the grocery store or barber shop. Some of them you may have gone to school with.

Communication with and between your other health care providers is much easier when you receive your cancer care in the same local community. Members of the medical staff know each other and work together. When I can climb a flight of stairs, knock on the door of a colleague, and quickly pool our knowledge regarding the care of a patient we share, we facilitate good outcomes in a timely fashion.

When you’ve received a cancer diagnosis—which sometimes can feel like a cyclone has dropped your house out of the sky into a weird, strange land—consider staying right in your own back yard instead of making an uncertain trip to a distant city, even if it is a pretty shade of green.
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