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Roz Hutchinson's blog

If you have to battle cancer, 'I hope you find an Angie'

Over the past six months, Wichitan Carol Carpenter has been in and out of Ascension Via Christi St. Francis' 7th-floor Cancer Institute, battling recurrent melanoma that has metastasized in her spine and other locations.

During Carol's three inpatient stays, "the nurses and staff have become like family," wrote her daughter, Ashley Reichenborn, in a widely shared Facebook post about her mother's most recent hospitalization. 

Cancer Outreach and Risk Assessment offerings continue to grow

Ascension Via Christi’s Cancer Outreach and Risk Assessment program continues to add new programs designed to prevent cancer, identify it early or minimize its effect on those living with the disease.

CORA’s newest addition is a Lymphedema Prevention and Early Detection program launched last summer.

Cheers for great nursing peers

Nurses, like physicians, have special areas of expertise. Andra McCarty, an RN in her second year on 8SW at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, recently was caring for a patient with wound vac complications she hadn’t previously encountered.

Fortunately, when she reached out for help, she immediately received the support she needed from Amanda Banda, RN, in Trauma and Jenna Artis, RN, the charge nurse in the Burn Center.

NAMI recognizes Via Christi Behavioral Health leader and nurse

Robyn Chadwick, executive leader for adult, adolescent and pediatric Behavioral Health Services at Via Christi, was recently honored by the Wichita chapter of the National Association for the Mentally Ill as its Service Provider of the Year. Additionally, Kara Liss, RN, who serves at Via Christi Behavioral Health, was one of two recipients of NAMI’s Mental Health Professional of the Year awards.

Via Christi Hospital St. Teresa food drive to honor Ruth and John Strunk

Ruth Strunk

Ruth Strunk died of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 23 — 17 months after the death of her husband, John.

Via Christi associates know the Strunks as the west-Wichita couple who sold all but 40 acres of their third-generation family farm to Via Christi to give friends and neighbors access to close-to-home care. Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa staff, patients and families also may remember watching John from their hospital windows as he mowed the pasture on their homestead. 

St. Teresa growth continues with blessing of newest facility


Ascension’s Ascension Via Christi St. Teresa is poised to serve thousands of west-Wichita patients with the recent relocation of its larger Ascension Medical Group on west 21st to the medical office building on the hospital’s campus. The move, done in phases over the past year, was celebrated with a blessing and open house this week.

Via Christi introduces high-tech system for reducing prostate cancer side effects

The Cancer Center at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis now offers SpaceOAR®, a system designed to reduce radiation therapy side effects in men undergoing prostate cancer treatment.

SpaceOAR provides a layer of protection between the prostate and the rectum, helping eliminate or reduce rectal complications or side effects.

Via Christi Oncology in Top 100, NCORP in Top 10

Becker’s Hospital Review recently released its list of 100 hospitals and health systems with great oncology programs and Ascension Via Christi once again was chosen for inclusion in this elite group for a third year in a row.
According to Becker’s, the list includes hospitals and health systems at the forefront of cancer treatment and research—ones “that have invested in growing oncology departments and regional cancer centers, providing an important service to patients locally and nationally.”

Faith, hope and medical advances keep brain cancer patient going

When news broke in July 2017 that Sen. John McCain had been diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, Ken Evans already had been battling the same aggressive form of brain cancer for two months.
In May 2018, Evans began round two of his fight, as the tumor in the left frontal lobe of his brain had returned in the same spot, along with a new one over his right eye.
Evans continues that fight today – having already surpassed the 14-month average life expectancy for patients with GBM.


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