Collaboration Brings Expertise to Diagnosis

Kinue Post was having pain in her shoulder and a persistent cough back in April of 2018. The 80-year-old Fairfield woman was moving slower than normal, and sleeping most of each day.

A visit to the emergency room ended with a diagnosis of pneumonia, but the medications didn’t seem to make a difference. “We have a property in Florida and we go there to watch NASCAR,” explained her husband, David Fox. But during a trip to the property, he noticed she was sleeping nearly all of the time. So when they returned to California, they headed back to the doctor and soon discovered the frightening diagnosis: cancer.

Kinue Post had pain in her shoulder and husband David Fox (standing behind right) felt something wasn’t right. An X-ray confirmed cancer and oncologist Jonathan Lopez, M.D. (left) worked in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to coordinate her treatment.

Their primary physician, Kulbir Bajwa, M.D., ordered the X-ray that first revealed the problem.

“It was this step that made a huge difference,” said David. “If we didn’t get that X-ray, who knows how long it might have been before we discovered the cancer? We are beyond grateful.”

Dr. Bajwa referred the couple to NorthBay Healthcare Oncologist Jonathan Lopez, M.D.

“It was a complex case,” explained Dr. Lopez. The cancer was discovered in one of Kinue’s lungs, as well as the shoulder and her lymph
nodes. “I needed some more information, so I reached out to Mayo Clinic.” 

NorthBay Healthcare has a collaborative relationship with the world renowned Mayo Clinic Care Network. Through NorthBay’s membership in the network, the doctors have access to a variety of clinical tools and services, including eConsults. Dr. Lopez was able to securely share Kinue’s test results and imaging with cancer experts there.

Through eConsults, NorthBay doctors connect electronically and directly with Mayo Clinic specialists for additional input on a patient’s care and at no cost to the patient.

“Mayo made a difference, yes. They were absolutely marvelous and every doctor and nurse we’ve seen at NorthBay was great.”
— David Fox

“Mayo made a difference, yes,” said David. “They were absolutely marvelous and every doctor and nurse we’ve seen at NorthBay was great. They could not have been any better.”

David and Kinue marvel at the coordination that took place between NorthBay and Mayo Clinic. “It worked out perfect for us,” David said, noting that when in Florida they were able to connect with the Mayo Clinic team in Jacksonville.

“David and Kinue were able to go to Mayo Clinic while in Florida, so the continuity of care from NorthBay was great and then when they came back to California, they transitioned here,” said Dr. Lopez. Kinue had a surgery in Florida on her shoulder and when she returned to California, began chemotherapy at the NorthBay Cancer Center.

Kinue has completed a round of chemotherapy and recent tests show that while there is still some cancer in her lung, there is none located anywhere else in her body. She recently began a different, shorter round of chemotherapy. In the meantime, she said, “I feel great!” 

Mayo Clinic Care Network Provides Expert Input

As a member of Mayo Care Network since May 2016, NorthBay Healthcare physicians work closely with Mayo Clinic to share medical knowledge and clinical expertise in ways that directly benefit patients. 

Through e-Consults, NorthBay’s local doctors have access to more than 4,000 physicians and scientists for second opinions, as another set of eyes, or simply to weigh in on complex cases. 

Other care network membership benefits include:

AskMayoExpert, a database for reference at the point of care. AME offers the latest Mayo-vetted information on the management, care and treatment of a variety of medical conditions.

Health Care Consulting, which enables NorthBay to learn about Mayo’s clinical, operational and business models, including how they are designed and implemented.

eTumor Boards teleconferences, during which care network physicians are invited to present and discuss complex cases with a multidisciplinary panel of Mayo experts and other participating network specialists.

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