Expanding Services

With the opening of the new CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Center-Kleberg, Kingsville residents can now receive the cancer care they need, close to home.

By: Alexis Mays

A cancer diagnosis presents challenges and difficulties, but traveling out of town for your medical needs doesn’t have to be one of them. CHRISTUS Spohn is proud to have expanded its nationally recognized cancer program into the Kleberg community. The CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Center-Kleberg, which opened in January 2017, is located inside CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg. That’s where patients can now have many of their needs met by oncologists right in Kingsville.

The CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Center-Kleberg is staffed by two board-certified oncologists: Drs. Shantan G. Reddy and Swetha Panati. Reddy is fluent in English, Spanish, Telugu and Hindi, and is board certified in internal medicine, palliative medicine and medical oncology. Panati practices hematology and oncology, and has a special interest in treating gynecologic cancers.

“We are excited to offer services that patients previously had to travel out of town for,” Reddy said. “This includes initial screenings and consultations, follow-up appointments, diagnostic services and appointments for patients on oral chemotherapy.”

This cancer center is not just an addition for CHRISTUS Spohn Kleberg, but also for the community of Kingsville, because having a cancer program close to home provides many benefits, according to Tom Enright, director of CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Center.

“A cancer center in Kingsville allows us the opportunity to provide many services close to home,” Enright added. “A major issue that patients reported to us was transportation.”

Close physical access to care is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer, Enright explained. “In the 1970s, the National Cancer Institute reported that there was a correlation between how far you were from a cancer treatment center and your survivability,” he said. “That premise is still true today, as it was then.”

Previously, several of Reddy’s patients had been traveling about an hour to other cities just for initial consultations and quick follow-up services, he said. “To ease the burden of traveling for care, we can now do so many services in their hometown,” he added. “A lot of services are now being done locally.”

Close access to care relates to another important tool for fighting cancer: early detection. A cancer center in Kingsville creates a seamless transition from screening to treatment, according to Panati. An advocate of early detection, she says having a cancer center in the same town as your primary care physician is ideal.

“When a doctor finds something in a screening, Kingsville patients can come to the CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Center-Kleberg to be evaluated,” Panati said. “And that means we have more opportunity to catch the cancer early. Catching cancer early is the best way to fight it.”

And the team is proud to point out that the Kingsville community is not just getting a new cancer center, but a nationally recognized one at that. “We have the only cancer center in South Texas that is approved by the American College of Surgeons, and we’re really happy to expand our services to the Kingsville community,” Enright said.

According to David LeMonte, president of CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Kleberg and CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Alice, the hospital is thrilled to offer a range of services to their patients. “We are excited to offer this new service to Kingsville and the surrounding communities,” he said.

About CHRISTUS Spohn Health System
CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the region’s largest hospital system in South Texas, consisting of six hospital campuses throughout the Coastal Bend. The health system is consistently ranked a health care leader in the area, and it has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including trauma, cardiac care, clinical excellence and oncology. For more than 100 years, CHRISTUS Spohn has been distinguished by its high-caliber staff and affiliated physicians, its comprehensive and innovative services and its long history of responding to the needs of the community it serves. For additional information, visit www.christusspohn.org.

Drs. Reddy and Panati are both accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment today, call 361-737-0600. And to learn more about the CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Center, visit www.christusspohn.org/cancercenter.

Photos courtesy of Christus Spohn