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Whidbey General Hospital enjoys a “MAC”nificent celebration

Whidbey General Hospital staff Shannon Tumblin, Lynette Angkaw, Melinda Buchholz and June Peteroli celebrate the MAC center with patient Robert Pepper. - Submitted photo
Whidbey General Hospital staff Shannon Tumblin, Lynette Angkaw, Melinda Buchholz and June Peteroli celebrate the MAC center with patient Robert Pepper.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Whidbey General Hospital’s Medical Ambulatory Care (MAC)/Oncology Department recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and the 30th year of the hospital’s accredited Community Cancer Care program.

Designed with a “health fair” feel, the party showcased different programs offered by the MAC clinic, including the Wound Care Program, Ostomy/Continence Care, the Diabetes Education Program, and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies to include Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Music and Art Therapies.

Music, provided by Music Therapist Barbara Dunn, PhD.; Lisa Toomey, MAC RN and musician; and Rosemary Brown, “pianist extraordinaire,” set the stage for the occasion. The festivities included a few sing-a-longs, lots of laughter and a few tears as former patients reunited with caregivers. Patients old and new came to help celebrate. Tom Tomasino, WGH CEO; John Bitting, Chief Nursing Officer; and longtime MAC Oncologist Mark Coughenour, MD were also present.

At its inception 20 years ago, the MAC Clinic provided oncology services to patients. Care was provided by visiting oncologist Helmut Stutz, MD, whose wife acted as the receptionist. In 1992 services were expanded and in 2002, the move to the current MAC added space.

Presently, three oncologists come to WGH three days a week to provide Oncology care close to home. Services include a nationally accredited Diabetes Education Program, a large Wound Care and Ostomy Support program, PICC placement services, CAM therapies and an accredited Community Cancer Program. All nursing staff are oncology certified. Cardiology and nephrology services have been added as well.

MAC staff recognized Manager Renee Yanke, ARNP, MN, AOCN, in honor of her “20 years of excellence and vision.” Yanke has shepherded the clinic from its inception to today.

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