Story by: David Steen Martin on August 19, 2019
Thomas M. Woodcock, M.D., came to Louisville in 1981 and was one of four founders of what is now Norton Cancer Institute. After almost 40 years as a medical oncologist, Dr. Woodcock plans to retire this fall.
Advances in treatments available to his patients over the years have been an inspiration for Dr. Woodcock.
“Over the last decade our successes have increased dramatically,” Dr. Woodcock said. “There are so many new options, so many new approaches.”
Dr. Woodcock’s patients will continue to find quality cancer care in Southern Indiana, as Chandler H. Park, M.D., will see patients at Norton Cancer Institute – Corydon, adjacent to Harrison County Hospital in Corydon, Indiana.
Dr. Park, a medical oncologist and hematologist who has joined Norton Cancer Institute, earned his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He completed his residency in radiology and internal medicine at Indiana University Health, Indianapolis. His fellowships include hematology/oncology at West Virginia University, Morgantown, and immunotherapy at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Norton Cancer Institute – Corydon offers the same state-of-the-art therapies and the same access to National Cancer Institute and industry-sponsored clinical research trials as other Norton Cancer Institute practice locations. There are seven others across Louisville and surrounding communities in Kentucky and Indiana.
Specialized care close to Southern Indiana.
Dr. Woodcock is one of four physicians who founded the Medical Oncology/Hematology Program at Alliant Health System (now Norton Healthcare) in 1994. With his vision to “take care to the community,” he led the team to create a regional oncology outreach program in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
He has contributed to the growth of Norton Cancer Institute, which employs more than 30 physicians and nearly 50 advanced practice providers.
Norton Healthcare Foundation has created the Tom Woodcock, M.D., Founders Fund to fund innovation and research. To donate, visit NortonHealthcare.com/Ways-To-Help.
“Dr. Woodcock will forever be known for his excellent cancer care for patients throughout the region,” said Joseph M. Flynn, D.O., MPH, FACP, chief administrative officer, Norton Medical Group, and physician-in-chief, Norton Cancer Institute.
Dr. Woodcock came to Louisville after attending medical school at Columbia University, New York, New York; and completing a fellowship at the prestigious Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, also in New York City.
Throughout his career, Dr. Woodcock witnessed advancements in such new cancer treatments as immunotherapy, which arms the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells.
According to Dr. Woodcock, former President Richard Nixon’s support for basic research as part of his “War on Cancer” in the early 1970s served as the genesis of the current revolution in cancer treatments. At the time, the options for cancer patients were limited.
“The emphasis of the research was not on patient care but rather on basic research, understanding the origin of cancer, looking for risk factors and causes,” Dr. Woodcock said. “It took that basic research 20 years to mature enough to come back and influence and support patient treatment.”
Dr. Woodcock said he is proud of Norton Healthcare’s commitment to bring the best medical care to underserved areas. Lately, Dr. Woodcock has been part of Norton Healthcare’s outreach to diagnose and treat hepatitis C. The viral infection is caused by exposure to contaminated needles or bodily fluids.
“This is not a minor commitment,” Dr. Woodcock said. “The equipment is expensive. This is a real effort to stamp out this disease in our community.”
According to Dr. Woodcock, treating hepatitis C has the added benefit of reducing the cancer risk for those patients.
“Norton (Healthcare) is doing a great job, and it’s done for the right reason,” Dr. Woodcock said. “How many organizations do stuff like this? This is just a reflection of our commitment to do the right thing by the patients we serve.”
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