U.S. Rep. Don Bacon Stops by for a Tour

From left, Michael Wadman, MD, chair of the UNMC Department of Emergency Medicine; U.S. Rep. Don Bacon; Jim Linder, MD, CEO of Nebraska Medicine; Wesley Zeger, DO, vice chair of Clinical Operations, Emergency Medicine; Robert Muelleman, MD, professor, Emergency Medicine; Suzanne Watson, nurse manager, and Bill Koile, director, Emergency Department Services.

How do you explain the work being done at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center to a retired Air Force Brigadier General? Charles Enke, MD, chair of the UNMC Department of Radiation Oncology, explained it to Rep. Don Bacon this way: “From the military standpoint, this is the war on cancer.” Bacon spent time Dec.17 learning about cancer rates, screenings and treatment as Dr. Enke took him room to room in Radiation Oncology, showing him the latest cancer-fighting technology and explaining how the facility’s design caters to patient privacy and preferences. Bacon studied images of tumors from test cases and asked a lot of questions. “Hardest time of their lives,” he said of the patients who come to the Buffett Center. “And you’re healing them.” The congressman then toured the Emergency Department, listening as Michael Wadman, MD, chair of UNMC Department of Emergency Medicine, explained some of the challenges the ED staff faces, including patients with behavioral health issues or those who come in under the influence of meth or other drugs. The ED is on pace to see 65,000 patients this year, a number Bacon described as amazing. “Hopefully none of us have to go to the Buffett Cancer Center or the Emergency Room,” Bacon said at the end of his tour. “But if you do, you’re going to get first class, great care right here.”

Charles Enke, MD, shows Rep. Don Bacon our CT simulator in Radiation Oncology at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.

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