UNMC team, rural collaborators receive award for innovation

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC strategic communications | October 22, 2020

picture disc.
Pictured above are members from the Pathway to Cure team who were authors on the published JCP study (from left to right): Robin M Lally, PhD, Elizabeth Reed, MD, and Roksana Zak, PhD, of UNMC; Allison Coates, Nebraska Medicine nurse; and Ryan Ramaekers, MD, CHI Grand Island. The team recognized Brenda Ram and Ashok Mudgapalli, PhD, for their contributions to the project.

A UNMC team recently received an Excellence In Pathways Award for its Pathway to Cure project -- an innovative program for young women with breast cancer and rural physicians who care for them.

The award, presented by the editorial staff and board members of the Journal of Clinical Pathways, recognizes professionals who have demonstrated significant clinical improvements in care, patient experience, care outcomes and also encourage person-centered care with supports beyond clinical treatment.

Pathway to Cure was developed by a multidisciplinary team at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in collaboration with two rural cancer centers. Collaborating cancer centers included Great Plains Health Callahan Cancer Center in North Platte, Faith Regional Carson Cancer Center in Norfolk, and CHI Health Regional Cancer Center in Grand Island.

Recipients are Elizabeth Reed, MD, Robin M Lally, PhD, and Roksana Zak, PhD, of UNMC; Allison Coates, a Nebraska Medicine nurse; and Ryan Ramaekers, MD, CHI Grand Island. Brenda Ram and Ashok Mudgapalli, PhD, also were recognized for their contributions to the project.

The project was initiated in 2018 in response to the unique needs of rural, younger women, which include plans for a career and family, as well as nationally recognized gaps in the management of young women with breast cancer. The purpose was to improve the effectiveness and efficiency to support rural oncology care providers in recognizing and systematically addressing physical, psychosocial and decision-making needs of their young breast cancer patients.

The team developed clinical pathways and education, increased clinical collaboration across the state to promote adherence to national evidence-based clinical guidelines for the care of young women with breast cancer. The 18-month project resulted in development of six clinical pathways and the Pathway to Cure website, which provides easy access to the pathways with links to associated national guidelines and nine continuing education accredited, expert-delivered webinars providing instruction on care specifically pertinent to younger breast cancer patients.

The project was funded by Pfizer, Inc. through collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Oncology Research Program.


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Sydney Buckland
October 23, 2020 at 8:35 AM

Congratulations to an excellent team doing excellent work for rural Nebraskans!

Andy Lim
October 22, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Congratulations, Dr. Lally!

Elizabeth Beam
October 22, 2020 at 8:53 AM

Nicely done Dr. Lally! Congratulations all.

Lisa Runco
October 22, 2020 at 6:27 AM

Congratulations to this outstanding team! It is so important that members of rural communities have access to the same type of care that those in metropolitan areas receive, when at all possible. Thank you for your dedication to this effort.