Dell Med announces creation of oncology department

With thousands of people diagnosed with cancer each day, the new Department of Oncology hopes to meet that need.

AUSTIN - With thousands of people diagnosed with cancer each day, the Dell Medical School is hoping to meet that need.

Citing a focus on advancing cancer research, education and care in Austin and Travis County, the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin announced Monday that it is creating a Department of Oncology.

Gail Eckhardt is the new chairwoman.

"We have the distinct advantage here of taking something like a medical school, which did not previously exist, that already is incorporating a lot of novel models and a lot of novel thinking and now really combining that around cancer,” said Eckhardt.

The medical school has been open for about a year. Oncology is already the ninth department.

Before becoming chairwoman, Eckhardt worked as the first executive director of the Livestrong Cancer Institutes.

She hopes to bring the work done there, to the new department.

"That will include things like therapy, palliative care, social resources, transportation,” said Eckhardt. “All with the idea that we hope to operationalize what's been done by Livestrong Foundation for years into an outpatient clinic."

Dell Medical School said nearly 120,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year. Over a third of them die from cancer.

The Austin Public Health Department reports there were 1,131 cancer-related deaths in Travis County in 2014.
The school hopes to provide patients with clinical trials and top-notch cancer care so they do not have to travel long distances.

A physical, outpatient clinic at the school is still in the works. It is estimated to open April of 2018. All to fight cancer and stop it someday.

For more information on the medical school CLICK HERE.

Students who want to research or volunteer can email workdellmed@utexas.edu.

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