Previous issues of HopeCONNECTION have described Hope Village, the collection of garden apartments your generosity has made available on City of Hope’s Duarte campus. For patients and families who have come to City of Hope for extended treatments, Hope Village offers a bit of home-away from-home hospitality and comfort. We even have RV hookups for people who bring their homes with them.
|A City of Hope team, including Chief Safety Officer Chuck Pickering (right), inspects Hope Village's special room for thyroid cancer patients to make sure it's safe for a new guest.|
Thanks to you, all sorts of patients and families have made use of Hope Village apartments over the years. But there’s one apartment reserved for a very special sort of patient: ones with thyroid cancer who have been treated with radioactive iodine. When combined with surgery,radioactive iodine therapy is a very effective treatment for thyroid cancer. However, it has the drawback of leaving the patient radioactive for several days following treatment.
Many hospitals just release irradiated patients back into the population, explains Dave Yamauchi, M.D., City of Hope’s director of nuclear medicine. City of Hope,on the other hand, offers them a special apartment in Hope Village where they can
“cool down” for a few days, ensuring they pose no exposure risk to family members and others.
According to Chuck Pickering,City of Hope’s chief safety officer, the special apartment has thick concrete walls “that form an effective barrier to stop radiation.” Radiation-blocking lead sheeting covers walls that adjoin neighboring apartments. The apartment has a TV, stereo, and Internet connection, and patients can make their own food, order take-out, and receive visitors. Ten patients used the apartment in 2007, with an average stay of about three days.
After the patient leaves, Pickering says,a team from City of Hope’s occupational safety and health department carefully inspects the room. Once they declare it “clean” radiologically, the housekeeping staff makes sure it’s clean every other way.
“I know of no other hospital in the country that offers something like this,” Pickering says. That’s just more evidence of how City of Hope reflects your commitment to providing the best possible care for cancer patients and their families and friends. Thank you for your generosity!