On July 17, 2019, London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) launched The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) following a donation of $1.5M from Rick and Shelley Baker. The newly created Baker Centre will result in improved access to care, more targeted personalized treatment and new treatment options for pancreatic cancer patients.
“It is with the help of inspirational donors like Rick and Shelley Baker that a change in medical care for pancreatic cancer patients is possible now and into the future,” said John MacFarlane, President and CEO at LHSF. This gift will not only impact the lives of pancreatic cancer patients in our community, but in communities around the world.”
Pancreatic cancer is a fast growing cancer with one of the lowest survival rates. Diagnosis and treatment is complex with frequent delays and often not detected until at an advanced stage, making treatment more difficult. The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer will be a centre of excellence in pancreatic care and research. The centre will offer a multidisciplinary clinic, new diagnostic technology, streamlined process for patients and the development of a new Translational Pancreatic Research Program. In addition to the clinical and research areas of The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer, a focus will be placed on enhancing the utilization of Patient Assistance Funds to support out-of-pocket costs associated with care.
“We need to do better for pancreatic cancer patients in our community. Dr. Stephen Welch and his team were excellent, but the access to cutting edge technology and experimental treatment options was just not there,” said Rick Baker, grateful patient and donor. “I had to travel the world to find alternative treatments and trials to help me fight this disease. I want to help others, here in London, to have access to better treatment options and technology. With Dr. Welch and the medical experts at London Health Sciences Centre and the philanthropic support of London Health Sciences Foundation we can create possibilities for patients that didn’t exist before.”
The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer will service patients from London and communities across Southwestern Ontario. It will provide quicker and more coordinated access to care as well as enhanced diagnosis and treatment through new technology. It will also focus on developing new treatment options for the future through an intensive research program.
The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer will develop a database to track and measure patient outcomes, purchase an Endoscopic Ultrasound machine, begin genomic sequencing for all newly diagnosed patients, raise awareness for the Patient Assistance Funds, officially launch the Translational Pancreatic Research Program and establish a dedicated fund for pancreatic cancer research within the existing Catalyst Grant Program.
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