Alan Wan, DO, is the medical director of Oncology for the Northwest Region. He moved to the position earlier this year from Kishwaukee Hospital Cancer Center, where he helped expand the program. Here, Dr. Wan shares what drew him to a career in medicine and discusses his plans for the Northwest Region Oncology program.
What drew you to a career in medicine? When I was a teenager, a family member went through oncologic care, and I found the communication and coordination of care to be less than ideal. At the time, I was tested as potential bone marrow donor. Interactions with providers really make a big difference in your experience of care. Words that are said matter a lot. I was young and watched a family member go through that experience, and that shaped my goals.
I feel that part of the reason people are attracted to getting care at NM and working here is because we have a quality system that includes patient satisfaction and interactions, and upholds high-quality care.
What are your plans for the Northwest Region Oncology program? I want to develop a world-class program that shares in the strengths of the academic health system but has the down-home feel of a small center, where people walk in and we know their first names. When I was based in DeKalb at the Kishwaukee center, I took care of patients and their whole families. I want that family feeling here. My current focus is to establish a structure that drives even higher quality and coordination of oncologic care within the region. We want best practices in place and consistently reproducible best care.
At Huntley Hospital, we began providing outpatient chemotherapy and immunotherapy services in July. The near-term goal is adding comprehensive infusion services. Long term, my goal is a steady expansion of services offered as supported by community demand. McHenry Hospital has a cancer center, and we are looking at expanding service lines there. Tell us a little bit about your life outside NM. I grew up in the Barrington-Lake Zurich area. I played sports against some of these high schools. Many of my high school friends are still here. It means a lot to me to practice here. This is home. As for hobbies, my wife and I have a French bulldog puppy, Pierre, who is more pampered than we are. He is a huge part of our lives right now.