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VCU Massey Cancer Center and Riverside Tappahannock Hospital collaborate to enhance cancer care in the Northern Neck region

Massey oncologists Shekhu Brar, M.D., and Tzann Fang, M.D., will begin seeing patients at Riverside in July.

VCU Massey Cancer Center (through VCU Health System and its affiliate physician practice, MCV Associated Physicians) and Riverside Health System are collaborating to provide physician services for medical oncology and hematology at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. Massey medical oncologists and hematologists Shekhu Brar, M.D., and Tzann Fang, M.D., will begin seeing patients at Riverside in July.

The collaboration builds on Riverside’s long history of providing quality cancer care in the Tappahannock region and across the Riverside Health System cancer network of services and programs, while also adding the high level of cancer expertise and experience that Massey brings as a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. In addition, Riverside cancer patients will have more seamless and rapid referral to the cutting-edge clinical trials and other specialized, comprehensive services offered at VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Medical Center in the Richmond metropolitan region. Advanced diagnostic testing, cancer infusions, surgical interventions and nurse navigator services will continue to be provided locally by Riverside.

“We’ve long been committed to providing the highest-quality cancer care to patients in the community,” said Liz Martin, Administrator and Vice President of Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. “This collaboration follows a series of investments that we’ve made – including the renovation of our Cancer Infusion Center, investment in the latest diagnostic and surgical technologies, and the addition of our oncology nurse navigator – to ensure that patients in the region don’t have to travel to get the important services they need when facing a cancer diagnosis.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with Riverside Tappahannock Hospital to provide expert, patient-centered cancer care in the communities where patients live,” said Khalid Matin, M.D., medical director of community oncology and clinical research affiliations at VCU Massey Cancer Center and vice chair for clinical affairs in the VCU Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care. “We share their commitment to expanding access to first-class oncology care backed by innovative research.” 

As current Riverside Tappahannock Hospital oncologist Dr. Kim Schlesinger transitions to a new role out of state, several weeks of crossover are planned to ensure a smooth handoff and continuity of patient care.

“It has been an honor to serve the patients in Tappahannock and the Northern Neck,” Dr. Schlesinger said. “My leaving reflects a calling for me and my family to another chapter in our lives. I transition from Tappahannock knowing every person here remains committed to providing the personal care we want for our own family.”

“Already, many patients from the Tappahannock and Northern Neck area are choosing VCU Massey Cancer Center when they need complex cancer care, in part, because of our close proximity, so we are delighted to bring our physicians even closer to them,” said Steven Grossman, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of VCU Massey Cancer Center and chair of the VCU Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care. “Drs. Brar and Fang are looking forward to serving this community. They are talented, compassionate doctors committed to providing excellent medical care.”

Furthermore, the collaboration will provide a more sustainable long-term solution for the Tappahannock region to access top cancer physicians and a range of cancer experts.

“We are focused on a long-term vision for the best path forward for Riverside Tappahannock Hospital, and this collaboration is just one of the many ways we are committed to serving the health care needs of our community,” added Martin.

Written by: Jenny Owen

Posted on: June 4, 2019