Baptist Network for Cancer Care: Nationally Recognized Community Care

By Morton Kahlenberg, MD, FACS
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The prevention and treatment of cancer is optimally achieved through a strategic and well-orchestrated team approach. The Baptist Network for Cancer Care model was created more than seven years ago to provide Bexar County and South Texas with an efficient, effective and compassionate approach to help prevent and treat cancer.

The traditional care model for cancer care has been for patients to be seen by various physicians in a step-wise manner, often waiting a significant amount of time for each appointment, insurance authorization, and any required clinical or radiologic services. Our model provides care coordination and an individualized approach throughout the care continuum.

Cancer care coordination requires nurse navigators who are knowledgeable as well as compassionate. The Baptist Network for Cancer Care nurse navigators are dedicated to ensuring that each patient receives personalized, quality care. Our navigators become a personal care concierge and quarterback of care, coordinating the delivery of care from a patient’s team of cancer specialists. Our nurse navigators are expertly trained and certified to address all aspects and issues patients may face with the diagnosis of cancer. For example: stress and anxiety are generated by the unknown; our nurse navigators empower patients with knowledge to help diffuse these understandable, yet potentially harmful, emotions.

The best possible outcomes from cancer require skilled, experienced and compassionate physicians. Cancer care at Baptist Health System is aligned with local cancer physicians from established and respected oncology and surgical practices. Patients are provided access to outstanding surgical, medical and radiation oncology services, as well as to national clinical trials.

Morton Kahlenberg, MD, FACS Surgical Oncology Medical Director, Baptist Network for Cancer Care

The Baptist Network for Cancer Care provides a pathway to care for patients with all types of cancer, with organ site-specific centers for breast cancer, GI cancers and lung cancer.

The Baptist Breast Cancer Network has garnered national recognition and multiple certifications of excellence through the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). This is one of the most prestigious national certifications that a center can achieve for breast cancer care. In addition to our oncology nurse navigators, the Network provides access to advanced breast radiology services, including 3D mammography, breast biopsies and breast MRI.

Optimum breast cancer treatment requires planning and coordination among specialty surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. The Baptist Breast Cancer Network physicians approach every patient’s care as a disciplined, highly skilled and integrated team.

Modern breast surgical techniques are provided by the surgical specialists; these include breast-preserving techniques, as well as skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomies with reconstruction. Patients have access to network plastic surgeons who offer modern reconstruction techniques, including expanders and implants, as well as using a patient’s own tissue (autologous reconstruction that includes DIEP, TRAM and latissimus flaps).

Gene abnormalities serve as significant risk factors for breast cancer, and the Baptist Breast Center provides genetic counseling and testing services for patients and families to ensure proper treatment and possible prevention of cancer.

Baptist Health System is privileged to provide cancer care for the people of San Antonio and South Texas. To learn more about the Baptist Network for Cancer Care, please call our nurse navigators at 210-297-CNCR (2627).