Access to cancer services to expand at South Shore |

Access to cancer services to expand at South Shore

Provided to the Tribune

Barton Health announced it has partnered with the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center to expand its oncology services for cancer patients in the South Lake Tahoe area.

Using advanced technology through Barton’s Telehealth for Tahoe Program, cancer patients undergoing treatment at Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center will be able to meet with their physicians via videoconference. The program aims to minimize stress and travel expenses for cancer patients in between chemo doses.

“We are now seeing our patients in a seamless way – remotely,” Dr. Laurence Heifetz. stated in a press release. “This program helps relieve the hardship of driving an hour around the lake to see us. Barton Health currently has a telemedicine program in place, so it was a good opportunity to create a virtual oncology office in South Lake Tahoe, making it more convenient for our patients.”

Heifetz, along with oncologist and hematologist Dr. Ahrin Koppel, will be able to communicate with their patients in-between chemotherapy treatments, which can vary from every three to four weeks. Patients must be closely monitored and as each treatment can vary with disease diagnosis, often enough, patients have interim visits about every 10 to 14 days.

“A vast majority of their diagnostics and lab tests can now be done at Barton as well,” Heifetz stated in the release. “Right now, we are actively studying ways to provide chemotherapy at Barton.”

The facilities are also looking to partner to bring additional cancer support options to the South Shore.

The Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, a service of Tahoe Forest Health System, is located in Truckee and is an affiliate of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Patients of Heifetz and Koppel can be referred to Barton’s Teleoncology Program based on their needs and preferences. For more information about the Gene Upshaw Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, visit or call 530-582-6450.

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