The El Camino Hospital Cancer Center began with the vision of creating a patient-centered, one-stop-shop for those battling cancer. To start, the Cancer Center was small, but over the past ten years it has grown in leaps and bounds. Today, the Cancer Center has a staff of 40, has served more than 6,000 patients and provides many supplemental programs for a holistic and comprehensive approach to treating cancer.
Jaimee Chow, oncology service line operations manager, started at the brand-new Cancer Center in 2007 as an administrative assistant. Since then, she has progressed to overseeing the entire center’s administrative staff, scheduling, authorizations, cancer registry, and operations for the oncology service line programs.
“The Cancer Center is a very special place to work. While we all have different backgrounds, everyone on our team has the same goal,” says Jaimee. “We want to care for our patients to the best of our abilities. This creates an incredibly supportive and team-focused work environment that I believe has reinforced our continued growth over the past ten years.”
Through the support of her team and El Camino Hospital’s tuition assistance program, Jaimee was able to go back to school to finish her bachelor’s degree and even complete a master’s degree program. Now as a manager, she works hard to present the same kind of opportunities to her staff that her mentors at the Cancer Center pushed her to pursue.
“Every single team member, from administrative staff to our physicians, knows that their role is important. We follow patients through the continuum of care, whether they receive inpatient or outpatient services, and we know a friendly smile and kind words can make all the difference.”
Jaimee continues, “we also understand that cancer doesn’t just affect the patient, it affects their family and friends as well. We work hard to involve caregivers within each patient’s’ program. It’s this kind of empathy, compassion and dedication that all of our staff shows that drives the success of the center.”
Once a patient is diagnosed, they are able to see a Cancer Center physician within 48 hours. The staff then treats the overall health and well-being of each patient – they are not just focused on treating the cancer. At the Cancer Center, Jaimee says the staff believes it is much more effective to treat the mind, body and spirit of their patients.
“We think about our patients’ needs throughout their cancer journey and our multidisciplinary approach allows them to focus their energy on fighting their cancer diagnosis,” she states. “We also make sure that every team member feels supported and has the resources needed to continue to give the level of care we know our patients deserve.”
During her tenure, Jaimee has helped introduce holistic programs for patients, survivors, and caregivers including financial counseling and healing arts activities. She recognized that healing arts activities could also help staff manage the emotional aspect of caring for cancer patients. It’s this kind of holistic thinking which considers needs of the patients, families and staff that helps create the dynamic healing environment of the Cancer Center.
Jaimee is proud to be a part of an organization that takes care of its patients from diagnosis to survivorship and one that values and supports its employees so highly. In the coming years, she intends to continue growing her career and hopes to be a part of the Center Center as it grows and expands its services. Learn more about the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center and its programs and services.