Exceptional, comprehensive cancer center opens in the heart of Cherry Creek 

UCHealth Cherry Creek Cancer Center offers full suite of specialist care in community setting.
September 2nd, 2020
new exceptional cancer center Cherry Creek. Portait of Dr. Scott Kono
Dr. Scott Kono is the director of the new Cherry Creek Cancer Center. The center provides top-notch care affiliated with the University of Colorado Cancer Center in the convenience of a neighborhood setting. Photos by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

The UCHealth Cancer Center – Cherry Creek combines the specialist cancer care of Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center with the convenience of UCHealth’s new Cherry Creek Medical Center.

Read more stories about providers, patients and services at the UCHealth Cherry Creek Medical Center

Read about breast cancer survivor, Mary White, who can walk to get monthly injections at the Cherry Creek Cancer Center

The new UCHealth cancer center has been serving infusion patients since late June and opened its doors this week to a wide variety of cancer patients. Leading the cancer-care team is Dr. Scott Kono, the new cancer center’s medical director. Kono, a Colorado Springs native, joins UCHealth as a University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty member a decade after completing his oncology fellowship at the institution. He returns as a seasoned medical oncologist and hematologist whose experience has run the gamut of cancer care and treatment.

exceptional cancer center in Cherry Creeek. A waiting room with colorful art in the infusion center at Cherry Creek Medical Center
The Cherry Creek Medical Center is homey with beautiful natural light. The Cancer Center has a full infusion center. The waiting room features comfortable chairs and soothing art.

Kono will care for patients and coordinate with specialists to provide onsite care that harnesses the deep expertise of University of Colorado Cancer Center experts in gynecologic, urologic, lung, blood, breast, skin (including Mohs surgery), gastrointestinal, and other cancers as well as oncologic surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, precision medicine, and clinical trials.

“For a person with cancer, the best care takes a village – a real team approach,” Kono said. “We all lean on each other and leverage each other’s experience to help the patient.

“At the UCHealth Cherry Creek Medical Center, we will be able to provide exceptional cancer care with the convenience and personal care of a community-based clinic, Kono says.  Additionally, having access to subspecialists can be pivotal in a patient’s care.

Tap in

Kono and colleagues will be working in a facility designed to optimize its unique urban location. Among other features, the new space features onsite radiation therapy as well 10 private and two living-room-style semiprivate infusion bays, the latter with three chairs in each room. The overarching goal is to avail the breadth and depth of care familiar to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, which UCHealth patients have accessed through UCHealth Cancer Care – Anschutz Medical Campus and, more recently, UCHealth Cancer Center – Highlands Ranch, to patients living in Cherry Creek and surrounding neighborhoods.

exceptional cancer care Cherry Creek. Dr. Scott Kono stands at the Cherry Creek Medical Center with a linear accelerator, It's a machine which delivers radiation treatments to cancer patients.
The Cherry Creek Medical Center has a full cancer center that includes a linear accelerator, where patients who need radiation can get treatments. Dr. Scott Kono is director of the Cherry Creek Cancer Center and he will work closely with radiation oncologists.

Patients at the new center can tap into two of the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s defining features: multidisciplinary clinics (also known as tumor boards) and clinical trials.

Multidisciplinary clinics are weekly gatherings of cancer experts who consider a patient’s case history, scans, and pathology results and jointly recommend treatment paths. As an example, lung cancer multidisciplinary clinics involve medical oncologists, lung cancer specialists, radiologists, oncological surgeons, radiation oncologists, and pathologists. It’s a combination of specialized expertise that few institutions can bring to bear.

“Our patients will definitely have access to subspecialty tumor conferences, which is great,” Kono said.

Clinical trials will give UCHealth Cherry Creek Cancer Center patients access to the latest experimental cancer therapies being studied at the University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers. As of  late August, those researchers were involved in 272 cancer-related trials related to diverse cancers. In addition to eight oncology exam rooms, the new cancer center has small conference rooms where physicians and patients can discuss clinical-trial options.

“We’ll have the advantages of the clinical trials and of CU School of Medicine cancer researchers pushing the envelope of patient care and improving outcomes,” Kono said.

Local help

Cancer center patients will also be able to tap into Cherry Creek Medical Center resources including social workers, psychologists, nutritional counselors and others.

exceptional cancer care Cherry Creek. Breast center - collage of photos
A photo collage with antique portraits gives the Breast Center at the Cherry Creek Medical Center a comforting, residential feel. The center has new, low-radiation mammography equipment and men who need to be treated for breast cancer can use a separate entrance.

All supportive services will be available as they are in other locations.

Kono added what he considers to be as important a feature as any other in cancer care: collaboration with patients’ primary care physicians. Cancer care is an extension of primary care – not a replacement of it, Kono says.

“The primary care doctor is part of the team,” Kono said. “We want to keep the primary care doctor 100% on board with everything that’s going on. They’re still taking care of all the other aspects of the patient’s health.”

exceptional cancer care Cherry Creek. Receptionists at the Breast Center at the Cherry Creek Medical Center
Staff members wear masks at all times and welcome women and men for preventive mammograms as well as breast cancer care at the new Cherry Creek Medical Center. From left to right, Ashley Peterson, Brenda Rangel and Lyndsey MacFarlane.

An added benefit of doing that, Kono says, is that the patient feels anchored with his or her familiar primary care physician amid waves of cancer specialists and treatments.

In all, Kono says, the goal is to meld a local, easily accessible medical practice with the quality of care only an academic medical center can deliver.

“We want patients to feel like they’re getting individualized, community-based, convenient-yet-excellent medical care,” Kono said. “That’s what’s great about Cherry Creek – it’s the best of both worlds.”

About the author

Since 2008, Todd Neff has written hundreds of stories for University of Colorado Hospital and UCHealth. He covered science and the environment for the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado, and has taught narrative nonfiction at the University of Colorado. He was a 2007-2008 Ted Scripps Fellowship recipient in Environmental Journalism at CU.

His latest book, "The Laser That’s Changing the World," tells the story of the inventors and innovators who saw, and ultimately realized, the potential of lidar to help solve problems ranging from smokestack-pollution detection, ice-sheet mapping, disaster recovery, and, ultimately, autonomous-vehicle guidance, among many other uses. His first book, "From Jars to the Stars," recounts how Ball Aerospace evolved from an Indiana jar company - and a group of students in a University of Colorado basement - to an organization that managed to blast a sizable crater in the comet 9P/Tempel 1. "Jars" won the Colorado Book Award for History in 2012.

Todd graduated with a business degree from the University of Michigan, where he played soccer, and with a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Before becoming a journalist at the turn of the millennium, he was an IT and strategy consultant. He once spoke fluent Japanese and still speaks fluent German.

When not writing, he spends time with teenage daughters and wife Carol, plays soccer, and allows himself to be bullied by a puggle he outweighs by a factor of seven.