Your Treatment Team
The radiation oncologists at Emory Proton Therapy Center work with the multidisciplinary cancer team at Winship, which includes experts in medical oncology, radiology, pathology, supportive oncology, dieticians, social workers, physical therapy, and cancer rehabilitation. Your radiation oncologist will work closely with these other specialists to customize your proton cancer treatment plan and coordinate your care. We can also partner and coordinate with a patient’s existing care team, whether they are across town or around the world.
Client Experience Coordinators and Patient Service Coordinators
Client Experience Coordinators and Patient Service Coordinators are some of your primary contacts throughout your care. Starting at intake, through the completion of treatment and beyond, the coordinators will greet you when you arrive and check you in for your consult, simulation, weekly on-treatment visits, and follow-up visits. Client Experience Coordinators also partner with your care team to coordinate your clinic scheduling and collect your medical records.
Your care is supported by a team of registered nurses who work closely with your providers, therapists, support services, patient care coordinators, and others to ensure that you receive the highest standard of clinical care. Nurses will do intake for your consultation and on-treatment visits, prepare you for procedures, provide education, help you manage any treatment side effects and support all clinical aspects of your care.
Our medical assistants play a key role in supporting the clinical care team. In this multitasking role, the medical assistant will support your care by performing both clinical and administrative duties. Medical assistants will help prepare you for procedures and exams, perform lab collections, and relay information to patients and members of the care team.
Advanced Practice Providers
Your Advanced Practice Provider is either a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant who is specially trained in radiation oncology to assess your needs, manage side effects, and participate in your overall care and survivorship. They work closely with your radiation oncologist to provide seamless continuity of care and communication between you, your loved ones, and your care team.
Your radiation oncologist is the physician who oversees and directs your treatment and care. Working closely with other physician specialists involved in your treatment, your radiation oncologist will lead the care team to design your radiation treatment plan, supervise the delivery of your care, manage your side effects, assess your response to therapy after treatment, and participate in your survivorship. Together with your physician and loved ones, you will discuss your diagnosis, treatment options, and any questions or concerns that might arise during the course of your care.
Social workers are here to support your emotional and social well-being during your treatment. They are trained to provide counseling and, if necessary, facilitate any necessary financial, housing, or transportation support. Social workers collaborate with your care team to ensure that your care is approached holistically.
Child Life Specialists
A Child Life Specialist helps pediatric patients and their families navigate and manage the emotional impacts of diagnosis and treatment, including the use of sedation or anesthesia, when necessary. The specialist utilizes expertise in child development to understand the unique needs of pediatric patients so that coping support can be tailored for an optimal experience.
Your dietitian is a trained nutrition expert who will provide you with guidance on how to best support your care with optimal dietary choices. Your dietitian works closely with you, your loved ones, and your care team to understand your nutritional goals and define a plan for achieving the best treatment outcomes.
Speech Language Pathologists
Speech Language Pathologists are focused on the evaluation, maintenance, and restoration of swallowing function. The speech therapy team is based on the 10th floor of the Medical Office Tower at Emory University Hospital Midtown and is primarily involved in the care of patients receiving treatment for head and neck cancer.
Patient Experience Team
The patient experience team works with you and the care team staff to ensure that your experience is as positive as possible. These individuals are available to discuss any feedback, compliments, questions, or concerns you may have. In addition, they can offer guidance regarding lodging, transportation, provide recommendations for restaurants, activities, and amenities, and anything else you and your loved ones might need throughout your care.
Clinical Research Coordinators
The clinical trial coordinator will help explain any clinical trials that may be options for your care. Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is dedicated to advancing cancer care through groundbreaking research in new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases. Clinical research coordinators work closely with the rest of the team to provide an extra level of care coordination for patients participating in clinical trials to ensure the highest quality care.
The insurance specialist works very closely with you and your provider throughout the entire insurance process. They will help you understand what your financial responsibilities may be, and what to expect during the insurance authorization process. They will be your primary point of contact for financial or insurance questions through treatment completion.
A medical dosimetrist has advanced training in the principles and technique of radiation treatment planning. Following the prescription and direction of your radiation oncologist, and working in close collaboration with Medical Physics, dosimetrists create a customized treatment plan designed specifically to meet your clinical needs, targeting the tumor while minimizing dose to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Medical physicists work closely with the radiation oncologists and dosimetrists to provide expert guidance to ensure we deliver the safest and most effective treatment specific to you. They perform daily quality assurance checks on our treatment rooms which allow the proton center to maintain the highest level of radiation safety.
Radiation therapists are clinical team members who are specially trained to perform your CT simulation as well as administer your daily radiation therapy treatment. The radiation therapist delivers your prescribed and planned course of radiation therapy as per your Radiation Oncologist’s instruction and in accordance with proton radiation therapy standard practices and departmental procedures.
The MRI technicians are responsible for carrying out both diagnostic MRI scans as well as planning MRIs that are performed during your simulation appointment. They are responsible for operating the MRI equipment as well as helping to properly position you for your MRI examination.
Specially trained engineers from the proton equipment manufacturer, Varian, are on site daily. Although you normally will not meet the engineers, they assist in continuous system monitoring of the cyclotron, beamline, and treatment rooms, performing routine and preventative maintenance, and assessing and correcting any issues that may result in center downtime or delays to ensure the system is functioning at the highest level of precision.