“I've learned a lot from my cancer patients, and every day I see their courage. There have been so many advances in the field and now we actually cure people all the time who years ago would have been lost. And there is a silver lining to cancer - you learn what is important in life, and not to sweat the small stuff.”
“CANCER CARE PIONEER”
Barbara McAneny was a junior in college heading for a degree in mathematics and studying computer technology when she realized that she didn't want to spend her life in front of a computer terminal. "I was too much of a people person," she recalls. A friend urged her to switch to pre-med studies-a fortuitous change in direction that has brought McAneny to the fore in the battle against cancer.
"We now cure many people with cancer. So much of medicine can be just maintenance, but with cancer we have made great advances. There is no better feeling than telling one of your cancer patients that he or she is free of cancer. And that may be the silver lining to cancer - you learn what is important in life."
Nominated as a Local Legend of Medicine by Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM-3), McAneny has built a long and distinguished medical career around her passion for battling cancer. As co-founder and CEO of the New Mexico Cancer Center (NMCC), operated by the New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants (NMOHC), she has helped build a network of cancer treatment centers throughout the state.
Formed in 2002 by a groups of physicians determined to change the way cancer and cancer patients are treated, the goal of the New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation is to assist cancer patients with unmet needs, and provide patients and medical staff with accurate information about cancer. The physicians who formed NMCC recognized that a diagnosis of cancer often met financial devastation with the loss of a job and bills not covered by medical insurance.
"We are designing a network of cancer treatment centers so we can take care of people, McAneny commented."Our goal is pretty simple - help give our patients the energy to get well."
In 1992, Barbara McAneny received the prestigious Ayerst-Wyeth Award for Medicine. She has received many other honors over the course of her distinguished career including the Governor's Award for Outstanding Women in New Mexico (1996), and the Top Doc Award, Albuquerque Magazine (2004 and 2005).
Active in medical issues, she sits on the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the AMA Council of Medical Service and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) Clinical Practice committee, for which she is the ASCO delegate to the AMA.
Her biggest accomplishment? "Early on I found I had the ability to talk to patients and help them fight cancer. That's my biggest accomplishment, working with people to help get them well. And as for what I'd like to do in the future - I'd like to help reform the health care system into something that is fair and equitable for all.
"Why? Because it will help so many cancer patients!"
President, New Mexico Medical Society
President, New Mexico Medical Foundation
President New Mexico Cancer Center Foundation (NMCC), 2002 - 2006; Member Board of Directors, NMCC, 2002 to present
Appointee, Practicing Physicians Advisory Council, Council on Medicare and Medicaid
Managing Partner and CEO, New Mexico Cancer Center, Albuquerque, NM
Member (two terms), Council on Medical Service, American Medical Association
Member, Board of Directors, American Society of Clinical Oncology
University of Iowa College of Medicine