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Team: Staff Profile
Francine Johanna Castillo, MS
Administrative Director, The Pancreas Center
Administrator, Division of GI/Endocrine Surgery
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
||Herbert Irving Pavilion|
161 Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10032
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Spotlight on Staff: Francine Johanna Castillo, MS
Looking back at my last blog interview from June 2011, I can't believe how quickly time has flown!
The Pancreas Center has weathered many changes and challenges since then, but the essence and mission of the center has remained unchanged.
We faced the heartbreaking loss of Dr. Pete Stevens, our Director of Interventional Endoscopy, and the challenge of unexpectedly having to adapt to changes in personnel.
We made every effort to keep informed of constant modifications to insurance policies, while helping our patients stay educated about their own coverage.
We faced unprecedented difficulties that have come with this struggling economy.
Despite these challenges, the commitment to our patients and our spirited dedication to fighting pancreatic cancer remains stronger than ever.
The Pancreas Center has grown and expanded in many ways since June 2011.
We have initiated the Pancreatic Cyst Surveillance Program, started a monthly support group for pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones, and hired a Clinical Nutritionist, dedicated to helping patients with the unique dietary needs associated with pancreatic diseases.
We eagerly anticipate two novel procedures in the surgical program, one utilizing the NanoKnife during pancreatic surgery and the other aimed at helping our pancreatitis patients.
We have a newly opened therapeutic clinical trial for advanced pancreatic cancer, and exciting new research in the Muzzi Mirza Pancreatic Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program to identify common genes within family clusters.
Beyond patient care, we have significantly expanded our education, outreach, and advocacy efforts in the community.
Since patients and their loved ones have become more proactive about their healthcare and naturally turn to the internet for help in making informed decisions, we have added a variety of initiatives on the center's web site, blog articles on the Department of Surgery's blog, as well as posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels in order to share important updates about our program.
In recognition of November being pancreatic cancer awareness month, we are posting new articles daily: patient stories of hope, educational blogs focused on important subjects such as nutrition and prevention, staff spotlights on the people who have committed themselves to our cause, and more.
We do this in honor of all our patients who are valiantly fighting this disease, in tribute to those we have lost along the way, and in testament to those who work every day to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.
I am honored and proud to be a part of this program.