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A diagnosis of cancer forces patients and families to confront issues that can be ignored on ordinary days. Some people think that not talking about these issues avoids the pain, but patients often will discuss these hard questions and concerns with healthcare staff. They report that avoiding those topics with their loved ones often adds to the burden patients have to carry alone. This session will offer ideas about having these hard conversations in ways that ease the unnecessary suffering that the burden of silence causes. Information about Palliative Care and Hospice will be included in this shared dialogue. Workshop will be led by Chaplain Dorothy Pryblyski. Free dinner will be provided. 

Date:  Thursday, May 23, 2019

Time:  5:30-7:00PM

Location: Northwest Medical Specialties

2920 South Meridian, Suite 100

Puyallup, WA 98373

This is a free program, but registration is required. To register contact, please contact Eunice Chua at (253) 428-8757,

The NWMS Cancer Support Community Is Seeking Volunteers


Providing support to all people touched by cancer is at the core of everything the NWMS Cancer Support Community (CSC) does and is the heart of our mission. We cannot achieve this goal without your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers strengthen our efforts to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and an ambassador on behalf of CSC helping make a difference in the lives of millions of cancer patients and their families.

Join us and become a CSC Champion for Support. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available at the NWMS Cancer Support Community. Here are some examples of the ways that you can help:

Outreach – Delivering calendars and flyers to cancer centers and hospitals; speaking about the Cancer Support Community at local community organizations. 
Fundraising – Help with staffing fund raising events.
Administrative – Reception, office support and mailings.
For Professional Level Volunteers – Present workshops or lectures.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact:
Eunice Chua, Cancer Support Community Coordinator
Phone: 253-428-8757 Ext 4864


NWMS CPAN Members Attend The 2019 Community Oncology Alliance Conference

This week NWMS attended the 2019 COA conference in Orlando, FL. NWMS sponsored 3 patients to attend this conference in order to advocate for themselves and other patients impacted by cancer. 


NWMS is the Washington state chapter of COA’S Patient Advocacy Network. Several team members from NWMS participate in our CPAN chapter and hold regular meetings and events.

CPAN was created in recognition of the vital role patients should play in advocating for access to local affordable care for all cancer patients. CPAN complements the work of COA, which has established a record of unprecedented success in mobilizing community oncology to raise awareness of the issues facing cancer care delivery and to become politically active.

Truly inclusive on all levels, CPAN is a noncancer type specific national network representing all members of the cancer community. CPAN members include patients in active treatment, cancer survivors, professional caregivers, family members, medical and oncology professionals, and members of the general community.

CPAN brings attention to the impact of Medicare legislative policies on cancer patients, specifically the issues affecting local cancer centers. Of great concern is the volume of community cancer clinics that have closed across the United States.


If you would like to be involved or would like more information please contact:

Abra Kelson (253) 200-3164 or


QCCA Launches IQ Oncology to Further Develop Nationally Integrated Network



PUYALLUP, Washington, April 1, 2019 ( – Building on efforts last year by the Quality Cancer Care Alliance (QCCA) to create the first clinically integrated network (CIN) in oncology in the United States, QCCA has launched IQ Oncology, its Management Services Organization (MSO), as a means to most effectively deliver cancer care across the membership’s 17 independent practices covering 16 States.

IQ Oncology will develop value-based programs in oncology and deploy strategies to provide direct-to-plan-sponsor oncology services, engage in activities supportive of and ancillary to these functions, including drug costs, insurance networks and deployment of effective, quality care.

Since launching its CIN last year, QCCA’s goal has been on improving the quality of oncology care through delivering the most effective therapies, diagnostics, processes and research in service of its patients. Its members are utilizing clinical pathways and sharing data in order to reveal more effective, as well as more cost-efficient, ways to improve the quality of the care.

“With IQ Oncology we now have a strong framework to support our value-based organization and improve the quality of cancer care and health economics within the independent oncology community,” said Sibel Blau, MD, President and CEO of QCCA Network and IQ Oncology. “The ability to attract investment into our data analytics and better support our members with those investments gives us the unique opportunity to better serve many more patients across the country, utilizing the best in clinical pathways while focusing on reducing the high cost of care and bringing innovative solutions to the employer market.”

The initial concept for the CIN centered around the need to innovate on the clinical side of care as well as addressing the business side of healthcare delivery, including providing excellence in the patient experience and re-shaping outdated models dictating how healthcare dollars are spent. The MSO provides the infrastructure to implement that innovation across member practices.

“Utilizing data analytics to reveal clinical patterns and opportunities for earlier interventions and quality improvement, adherence to defined best practices in clinical pathways across a broad network of physicians, and deploying a national network to bring pressure for updating outmoded systems of cost, payment and investments, is what attracted us to join the Network,” said Robin Zon, MD, FACP, FASCO, President of Michiana Hematology Oncology, a QCCA Network member.  “Putting the right data in the right hands at the right time is the way to re-shape the face of cancer care in this country, and IQ Oncology provides the ability for the independent oncology community to do just that.”

“Collaboration and support of independent practices is the key to improving healthcare outcomes in oncology. QCCA Network has grown substantially in a few short years; developing IQ Oncologyallows us to further our membership and support practices in a way that has not been possible before today,” said Thomas Gribbin, MD, Cancer and Hematology Centers of West Michigan, a member of QCCA Network.

The MSO will be operating as IQ Oncology, a division of QCCA Network.

More about QCCA Network can be found here:

NWMS Staff Spotlight-Heather S.

Heather is a Nationally Certified Medical Assistant!

Heather is a first responder in our triage department. If you’ve called our office for triage needs, there is a good chance you’ve talked to Heather!





“I work in oncology because I love the patient’s. Our patient’s teach me so much about life, love, family, and perseverance. If I can lighten the load just a bit, then I have done my job. My job reminds me how fragile life is, and to be grateful everyday for the little things.”

“In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, exploring the PNW, playing card games with my kiddo’s, or relaxing with a good book. There is always music being played at my house from the guitars and bass, to Ukuleles, violin and piano, my family and I love to make music together!”

Thanks for all your hard work Heather!

Cancer Support Community-Bingo Social

Please join Cancer Support Community for fun, games and socializing. The whole family is invited. Free dinner and dessert will be provided. Play Bingo for a chance to win some prizes, while meeting others in the community.

Date:  Thursday, April 25, 2019

Time:  5:30-7:00PM

Location: Zion Lutheran Church

3410 6th Ave

Tacoma, WA 98406


This is a free program, but registration is required. To register contact, please contact Abra Kelson at (253) 200-3164,

“On The Spot” Employee

Congratulations to Brian Gulmire, Clinic Support Nurse in Federal Way

Brian was spotted by Deanna: “Brian is one of our new CSNs in triage and has shown to be very dependable, hardworking, and dedicated to his job. Brian had not even had two weeks of training when he found himself alone for over a week. Brian stepped up to the plate and powered through triage tickets, medication refills, prior auth’s, and scheduling bloodwork. Brian has displayed teamwork and great compassion for his patients. I am so pleased and proud to have him on the triage team!”

NWMS Selected As A Featured Practice In the Medicare Initiative-The Oncology Care Model

The Oncology Care Model

Medicare is working with hundreds of health care practices that serve cancer patients (otherwise known as oncology practices) across the nation on a new approach to oncology care. This new approach is known as the “Oncology Care Model.”

The goal of the Oncology Care Model is to provide you and your family with more patient-focused, coordinated care. The Oncology Care Model supports oncology practices to deliver quality care to cancer patients with Original Medicare who are getting chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. There are nearly 200 oncology practices throughout the country and 13 private health plans that are part of the Oncology Care Model. Your oncology practice will notify you if they’re part of the Oncology Care Model.

If you get care from an oncology practice that’s part of the Oncology Care Model, you can expect:

A plan of care personalized and tailored to your specific health needs.
Access to a health care provider who can answer your questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Health care focused on your needs—as defined by you and your support network.
Support in coordinating care with other health care professionals and community organizations to meet the full range of your health needs.
Access to support services (like financial help, social, and emotional support) to help you navigate your treatment journey.
Health care providers that agreed to work with Medicare are committed to making sure you get care that centers on your needs and personal goals. Medicare monitors oncology practices that are part of the Oncology Care Model to make sure you get care that meets your unique needs. Oncology practices will regularly get information from Medicare on the quality of care they’re providing.

Medicare may ask you to complete a survey about the services and care you get from your oncology provider. Your feedback is very valuable to us, and we thank you in advance for helping us to improve care for all cancer patients with Medicare.

Northwest Medical Specialties, PLLC was selected as a spotlight practice that is leading the way in patient centered care in the Oncology Care Model.

The Johnson Cancer Foundation-College Scholarships

The Johnson Cancer Foundation’s mission is to raise funds to help those in King and Pierce County affected by cancer attend post secondary education

The Johnson Cancer Foundation gives financial support of up to $4,000 to those students who have had or have been impacted by cancer, so they can attend any qualified higher education institution, vocation, technical, or community colleges.



The idea of a foundation started to percolate in 2011, when it became clear that finding educational scholarships not based on your income was literally impossible. This came to light in 2011 when I was diagnosed with CML, had multiple chemotherapy sessions and then a stem cell transplant. This hit our family’s pocket book very hard.
During this time my daughter was a junior at Bonney Lake High School and we needed to start applying for academic and financial need scholarships. Throughout the year, we were unable to secure financial need scholarships due to what our tax returns showed and not the reality of our current financial situation. The other issue was, since my daughter did not have cancer, she couldn’t qualify for those scholarships dedicated to cancer patients.

So, in 2015, I created the Johnson Cancer Foundation and the Kevin Patoc scholarship by assembling a strong group of individuals that will guide us on this very important journey.

Board of Directors – Gretel Patoc, Gail Gardner, Kerri Hubler, Suzanne Kipfer, Lynsi Slind, Sarah Collins, Don Larson, Don Morrison, Kevin Fitterer, Randy McKibbin, Melanie Roach
We are a group of individuals that have been affected by cancer and the impact that cancer has on a family. We are here to help students attend post secondary institutions by awarding scholarships based on reality.

You can apply online or if you have any questions, please e-mail us at

More Info here!