UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and Spencer Hospital Partner to Enhance Cancer Care in Northwest Iowa

posted on Friday, July 7, 2023 in General

University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and Abben Cancer Center of Spencer Hospital have announced a partnership to support medical oncology cancer care in northwest Iowa.

UI Health Care physician Bilal Rahim, MD, a hematologist-oncologist at Holden, is now serving as medical director for medical oncology services at Abben Cancer Center, providing clinical oversight of those services and performing multidisciplinary patient review. He will also aid in the development of new medical oncology services in Spencer, increasing awareness of cancer prevention, screening and survivorship among the greater Spencer community.

Spencer Hospital and UI Health Care are currently working collaboratively to recruit a fulltime, Spencer-based medical oncologist to serve Abben Cancer Center patients.  Long-time medical oncologist Dr. Glenn Preston recently relocated to Michigan after serving the region for 10 years.  Abben Cancer Center has developed relationships with experienced medical oncologists to provide services on an interim basis while a new physician is recruited.

“Our organizations share a common vision to improve outcomes for all Iowans affected by cancer,” said Bill Bumgarner, Spencer Hospital president. “Through this collaboration, we will use a multidisciplinary team approach that leverages the best practices of University of Iowa Health Care with Abben Cancer Center’s experienced oncology team.  This will include offering patients access to participation in clinical trials and innovative cancer care here in Spencer.”

“Patients in more rural areas often have difficulty accessing comprehensive care and treatment options unless they travel,” said Rahim. “I am very excited for the opportunity to help deliver advanced cancer care to patients, closer to home.”

Spencer Hospital has provided medical oncology services to northwest Iowans for several decades, and through the Abben Cancer Center, has offered comprehensive cancer treatment, including radiation oncology, since 1997.  Dr. D.B. Nguyen is the cancer center’s radiation oncologist and medical director for that service.