Christiana Care Health System

Helen F Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute

Training Program Director: Diana Dickson-Witmer, MD, FACS

Fellowship Administrative Coordinator: Rosemarie Pope

Christiana Care Health System

About Christiana Care Health System

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A major teaching hospital with four campuses, Christiana Care is the largest teaching affiliate for Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, training more than 280 residents annually. With 38,712 surgical procedures annually, it has the 29th largest surgical volume in the country.

About the Helen F Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute

With more than 227,000 patient visits in 2016, the Helen F Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute is recognized as a national model for multidisciplinary cancer care and a top enroller in U.S. clinical research trials. Physicians employed by CCHS with offices at the HFGCC include: two thoracic surgeons; two breast surgeons; and three gynecologic oncologists, a specialist in Palliative and Supportive Care. Private practice physicians with offices in the HFGCC include: two medical oncology practices (8 physicians in each practice), five hematologic oncologists, 3 breast surgeons, 3 surgical oncologists, 6 urologic oncologists and 8 radiation oncologists (state of the art radiation facilities including brachytherapy & cyberknife). 

Major components of the Cancer Program include: the 14  multidisciplinary disease-site centers, 15 nurse navigators ,3 psychologists,  4 social service workers,  2 nutritionists, the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) for clinical trials ( 22 FTEs) , Pharmaceutical trials program ( Phase I and II trials), community outreach, the Genetic Counseling and Gene Testing  Program ( 5 full time certified genetic counselors) and the translational cancer research program in the Center for Translational Cancer Research . The NCI NCORP program continues to have an accrual rate of 22%, and there are over 100 NCI clinical trials open. Collaborations with world-renowned scientists at facilities such as the University of Delaware and The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia are opening new avenues to more quickly translate cancer science into cancer medicine.

The Ruth Ann Minner High Risk Familial Cancer Registry has three components: 1: Family Cancer Risk Assessment Program, with 5 full time licensed genetic counselors, over 7,400 individuals and 250,000 family members.  2: Family Registry Biorepository (2008 to 2016) housing 690 samples from 607 families. 3: ACGME Accreditation for Masters Degree Program in Genetic counseling.
Christiana Care Breast Center submits 700 to 800 analytic breast cancer cases a year to the NCDB. In 2016, 41,363 breast imaging studies were done, and 2,414 image guided breast procedures ( of which 1711 were performed by Breast Surgeons).

About the Program

Rotations will include not only Breast Surgery , Medical Oncology, Pathology and Breast Imaging, but also Plastic Surgery, Genetics, Outreach, Rehabilitation, Palliative and supportive Care, and a robust Research rotation including experience in Translational research as well as clinical trial design and participation in national clinical trials. It is anticipated that the fellow will design and develop either a research project or clinical protocol in an area of their interest, which will lead to a publication or a presentation at a regional or national meeting.  A mentor will be identified to assist with developing a project, helping to complete the project and assisting with either the publication and/or presentation. During the Breast surgery rotation, the fellow will have extensive hands on experience with not only surgical procedures for benign and malignant disease, but also in image guided percutaneous breast procedures.

Meetings and conferences

The fellow will participate in weekly multidisciplinary Breast tumor Conference, weekly Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic, weekly didactic sessions, and monthly NCORP meeting. It is anticipated that the fellow will attend the School of Breast Surgical Oncology, the American society of Breast Surgeons Annual Meeting, and a meeting of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology or another national clinical trials group.

Eligibility

Applicants must have successfully completed an accredited general surgery residency program in the United States and must be American Board of Surgery certified or eligible. One fellow per year will be selected, and interviews will take place in the fall prior the match year.

Contact Information

Training Program Director: Diana Dickson-Witmer, MD, FACS
Address: Helen F Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute
4701 Ogletown-Stanton Road, West Entrance, Suite 1500
Newark, Delaware 19713
Phone: 302-623-4343
Fax: 302-623-4203
Email:

ddickson-witmer@christianacare.org