10 u A b C o m P r e H e N S I V e C A N C e r C e N T e r
uAB LAuNcheS NeW cANcer cAre NetWorK to eNhANce
cANcer cAre AcroSS SoutheASt
B Y B E E N A T H A N N I C K A L
for Cancer Care
JEAN THOMPKINS, a registered nurse and
director of case management at the Gulf Coast
Medical Center in Panama City, Florida,
knew all too well the realities of treating ovar-
ian cancer. She saw cancer patients every day.
She knew about the treatment options and the
physical and psychological strains.
When, in 2007, Mrs. Thompkins was
experiencing abdominal pain, bloating and
weight gain, she did what many women do:
push past her symptoms, thinking she was
eating too much and just needed to lose
weight. But as her symptoms worsened, she
went to her doctor and received a diagnosis of
“I don’t know any other way to put it
than it was a ‘big-time’ diagnosis,” she says.
“I knew the mortality rate, I knew it was
aggressive, it was a cancer that was hard to
detect, and people tend to wait too long.”
In Mrs. Thompkins’s case, her gynecolo-
gist found a tumor so large that it appeared
to be attached to her kidneys. He referred
her to Ronald Alvarez, M.D., a gynecologi-
cal oncologist at the UAB Comprehensive
Cancer Center. “I was one of the lucky ones,”
she says. “My doctor picked up the phone
and scheduled me with Dr. Alvarez. I knew
traveling to UAB was the best option, and for
me, the only option.”
For three years, Mrs. Thompkins and her
husband made the nearly six-hour drive each
way, back and forth between Panama City
and Birmingham. The travel was expensive
and time-consuming and left her without her
Southeast Alabama Medical Center Southeast Alabama medical Center (SAmC) is a 420-bed hospital located in Dothan, Alabama, that serves approximately 600,000 people in its neighboring communities and counties. SAmC also provides cancer care at satellite locations in enterprise, Alabama, and marianna, Florida.
The Medical Center of Central Georgia The medical Center of Central Georgia (mCCG) is a 603-bed, full-service hospital located in macon, Georgia, that serves a population of approximately 750,000 residents. mCCG typically treats patients from nearly 80 percent of Georgia’s 159 counties.
Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center Northeast Alabama regional medical Center is a 276-bed regional hospital located in Anniston, Alabama, staffed by 185 physicians representing all major specialties and more than 1,400 employees.
Gulf Coast Medical Center Gulf Coast medical Center is a 176-bed regional referral hospital located in Panama City, Florida, that is served by a medical staff of more than 300 physicians and nearly 1,000 employees and volunteers, representing more than 30 specialties and subspecialties.
Russell Medical Center russell medical Center is an 81-bed, progressive, not-for-profit acute care facility located in Alexander City, Alabama, serving 125,000 people in its neighboring communities.
THE AFFILIATES AT A GLANCE