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OKLAHOMA CITY - The relationship between ProCure Proton Therapy Center and Integris Health is official.
Patients receiving cancer treatment at ProCure in Oklahoma City now have the option of going next door for related care at the Integris Cancer Institute of Oklahoma, which officially opened its doors Wednesday.
ProCure is a privately owned and operated center, in which Integris Health and its physicians are partners. A walkway connects it to the newly completed Integris Cancer Institute, an outpatient facility of Baptist Medical Center. Officials with both facilities say their affiliation will create a "seamless experience" for cancer patients requiring multiple approaches in treatment.
"We are uniting three different groups - ProCure and its delivery of protons, Integris Health and the best and most elegant group of physicians. It's a multidisciplinary fashion," said Stanley Hupfeld, president and chief operating officer of Integris Health. "Doctors can converse to determine customized care for patients."
Integris Cancer Institute will feature traditional radiation therapy, brachytherapy, clinical laboratory services, 18 infusion suites, and access to genetic counseling, clinical research and prevention trials. A Wellness Center, pharmacy and patient Resource Center also are on-site.
Hadley Ford, CEO of ProCure, thanked the physicians, who have a "healthy distrust" of hospitals and their projects, for trusting that a good environment would be created for their patient care.
"Patients will be able to go from one facility to another and not recognize a shift or change," Ford said. "Their care needs will be coordinated."
For some patients, a multipronged attack is required to battle their cancer, said Dr. Kiran Prabhu, radiation oncologist at Integris Cancer Institute. Some may be able to receive all their treatments at Procure, where technology allows radiation to treat the cancerous area without damaging nearby normal tissue, she said. Others will need ongoing treatment that could include surgery or chemotherapy.
"The patient will be able to see different specialists on the same day and discuss their treatment plans," she said. "We'll be an all-electronic facility, which keeps duplication of services to a minimum. It also allows us to electronically connect with other Integris facilities in Oklahoma City or around the state. People can come to the Integris Cancer Institute of Oklahoma for specialized services, but receive other treatments closer to home."
As Integris is opening its cancer facility, the first round of patients at ProCure has completed treatments. Mike Kastl of Edmond was the second person to undergo proton therapy and the first patient with prostate cancer. Kastl said he chose proton therapy because of the minimal side effects and ease of treatments. During his