Executive Perspectives in Healthcare – Richard Lofgren
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LC: What is UC Health doing to expand its cardiovascular care and cancer institutes, and how is that growth going to benefit the community?
RL: One of the things I think is most important is that we need to be at the forefront of some of the new challenges in the case of the care of patients with heart disease. It used to be the dominant thing was coronary artery disease, not degenerative heart disease and valvular heart disease.
Our advanced therapeutics in degenerative heart disease, valvular heart disease, and electrophysiologic diseases were a major area of focus for us, besides being a comprehensive cardiac program. And the cancer programs, again, one of the things that is important for the regions is that you’re on a very focused mission to become NCI designated (National Cancer Institute), comprehensive cancer center. NCI actually has several benefits – the first thing is that it adds access to the latest in the NCI. It’s a magnet for attracting the best and the brightest researchers. It brings new therapeutics to the community. And, quite honestly, it brings innovation and the potential of corporations in the biotech communities as well. We’ve acquired some investment from the community as well that impact not just the University of Cincinnati but impacts the entire community as well. I believe that of the 30 largest cities we’re the only one without one. Basically, it’s unusual that a community of this size doesn’t have the benefit of an NCI – that’s been an important mission for us as we move forward.
LC: Did you want to touch on developments in women’s health as well?
RL: One of the areas that we’ve been developing broadly that mainly focused more on the West Chester campus, is to focus on the special needs of women. I think one of the areas in particular that’s been a tremendous benefit and strength is recognizing that there are a number of unique health issues that women experience that tie to menopause. And, quite honestly, the health issues and problems that women experience don’t really fit nicely into one discipline – it’s not an OB issue, it’s not a medical issue and it requires a whole new thinking. So we’re working closely with Dr. Larkin who has an expertise not only on women’s health in general, but specifically about the number of issues that stem from the time of menopause. One of the things I’ve been excited about when I arrived here in the women’s health program is an understanding of the importance of having a multi-disciplinary and comprehensive program where all the disciplines – cardiac, neurology, primary care and OB are working to take care of a patient. In addition, the women’s health program is capable of taking care of women from any part of the spectrum, it’s not just about menopausal care – it’s a whole spectrum.
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