In Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers’ 25 years, treatment has advanced, but quality patient care has remained the priority
When Practice Administrator Carol Word started working with Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, it wasn’t even Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers yet.
The physicians she went to work for 27 years ago — a group that included current Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers oncologists Robert Rifkin, MD, and Nicholas Di Bella, MD — then called themselves Hematology Oncology Associates.
But over the next two years, that group began the process that created Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers. The goal, Word says, was to establish the best possible network of care, offer the most advanced treatment options, and provide the best quality patient care. And, doing all that close to patients’ homes.
This year, as Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers marks its silver anniversary, it’s clear the organization’s name isn’t the only thing that has changed.
Advanced Treatment, Personalized Care
To Word, who is now practice administrator for RMCC’s Denver division, the biggest changes can be summed up in two words: Sophistication and services.
Treatment advances mean care has become infinitely more sophisticated, she says. Patients now have access to an array of options not available 25 years ago, including advanced diagnostic tools, oral chemotherapies, genetic counseling, and the opportunity to participate in clinical trials that explore potentially ground-breaking new therapies.
And, Word says, RMCC patients always have a dedicated care team beside them. “From the beginning when patients are diagnosed, we create a relationship with them. They have the best of the best when it comes to our providers. Our job is to make sure they are supported throughout their journey,” she says.
Quarter Century of Touching Lives
In her long career with RMCC, Word spent a few years working in administrative offices with human resources. But she missed being on the front lines. “I was definitely pulled back into the clinic. That’s the root of what we do. So, in what could be a case of “be careful what you ask for” Word became manager of RMCC’s Sky Ridge location. Then her responsibilities grew to include both the Midtown and Rose offices. Altogether, she now oversees operations that involve about 150 employees.
It’s not the career Word, who has a background in early childhood development, imagined for herself back in college. But after 27 years, she wouldn’t trade it, and she has no intention of doing anything else. “There aren’t a lot of people who, in their day-to-day jobs, can honestly say they touched someone to the degree that we do.”
Whatever it’s called, Word says, “From day one, I’ve always been proud to work for this organization.”