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CARTI.

Supplying the Warmth

CARTI (Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute) was established in 1976 with the mission of providing the highest quality radiation therapy and compassionate care for cancer patients. The key word in our mission is compassionate.

This compassion means more than just physical treatment for our patients. We offer support groups, transportation, counseling and education programs.

The CARTI flagship is located on the campus of St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center in Little Rock. We also operate satellite facilities at Searcy and Mountain Home. Continuing to look to the future, we plan to open satellite facilities at Baptist Medical Center and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1994.

Every service we offer at CARTI is available regardless of ability to pay. At its essence, CARTI is people helping other people. No matter the avenue taken to healthcare reform, we at CARTI will still be dedicated to using every bit of our training, technology, talent, skill, intellect and compassion to help people live meaningful lives.

THE THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF THE HUMAN TOUCH

Cancer treatment is stressful for patients and families alike. Often, sharing time with a friend can improve a patient's outlook and enable the person to cope more readily with his illness.

Knowing that someone cares and will take the time to visit is an important component in the healing process. That is why CARTI recently started CARTI Teen Pals to enlist teen volunteers to help relieve the stress and loneliness that young patients encounter.

CARTI has a long-established similar program for adults, but it was felt that younger patients needed the special "connection" that other young people can provide. The effort required is simple. The volunteer offers to run errands for a patient, drop by to talk with them or send a cheery note. Some patients just need a listening ear or someone they know they can call on when they need to talk.

CARTI may be known for superior technology, but our human touch is just as valuable, and just as beneficial.

THE VALUE OF RESEARCH

Over the last several years, the Little Rock academic medical community has earned a national reputation as a center for quality cancer research.

CARTI has been an integral part of that research and has broadened our mission to improve the level of oncological care in Arkansas through education and research. This mission is to be fulfilled through a patient-focused approach.

For instance, about half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy at some point during the course of their disease. Radiation treatment is always planned with the intent of maximizing the effect on the tumor while minimizing harm to surrounding normal tissues and organs.

Studies supported by CARTI have resulted in a test model that allows researchers to investigate ways to prevent tissue damage by using intervention or changes in the radiation schedule.

Another area of study at the CARTI laboratory is research into cancers that are resistant to radiation therapy. The goal is to make such tumors more sensitive through DNA or drug intervention. A similar study is focusing on methods to protect the intestine during radiation treatment.

The point of such research is to "humanize" cancer treatment and technology. This is another way in which CARTI shows our commitment to quality patient care through research and to improving radiation therapy.

IT COMES DOWN TO QUALITY

CARTI's 17-year existence has been devoted to quality healthcare for every patient. This has required constant evaluation and modernization of equipment. It has required re-thinking and adjusting patient care and counseling. It has required brainstorming sessions to come up with ideas that will help us to better serve our patients. It has involved drawing the community into our endeavors.

Most of all, it has required us to constantly remind ourselves of our goal -- to help people. It is a simple goal, but not an easy one. And it continues to guide CARTI -- continuing excellence in compassionate, quality care for cancer patients and their families.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Aug 16, 1993
Words:661
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