Welcome to MD Anderson

MD Anderson Cancer Center
Date: March 2012


It is a large and commanding place. A giant among the institutions in Houston's Texas Medical Center. Rated as one of the top cancer centers in the world, MD Anderson Cancer Center is a place of energy and purpose where more than 15 thousand people work together for the elimination of cancer. MD Anderson is committed to making cancer history.

Hello. If you are coming to MD Anderson for the first time, you realize it's a big place, and you probably already learned there are many people here to help. You may have already received your new patient information pack, which is filled with good advice about how to get here and what to expect. You can also access our website at www.mdanderson.org or call askMDAnderson at 1-877-MDA-6789.

If you're coming from outside of Houston, the first order of business is to find a place to stay, and decide how you're going to get around. For your initial evaluation you should plan on staying in Houston several days. Many hotels and motels are located near the Texas Medical Center. And some offer reduced rates for patients and free transportation to and from MD Anderson. You may wish to stay at Jesse H. Jones Rotary House International hotel, which is connected to MD Anderson by a sky bridge. This hotel is exclusively dedicated to serving the needs of MD Anderson's patients and their families. If you are from outside the United States, MD Anderson's International Center staff can help you feel at home during your time in Houston.

Prior to your first appointment you also should have received a map in your new patient packet. MD Anderson is one of more than 40 institutions located in Houston's Texas Medical Center, which is the largest medical center in the world. MD Anderson's north campus contains the Main Building and the Lowry and Peggy May's clinic. The Main Building is where the inpatient hospital rooms are located, and where patients receive care around the clock. Outpatients who come for evaluation and treatment without being admitted to the hospital are seen in outpatient centers located in the Main Building as well as across Holcombe Boulevard in the May’s Clinic. These multidisciplinary centers over 20 in all, diagnose and treat patients according to their types of cancer. Your new patient package should indicate which center you are to report to. If you have your own transportation, you can park in one of four adjacent parking garages. Log on to MD Anderson's website for driving, parking and walking directions. Valet parking is available at the entrances to both the Main Building and the May’s Clinic, and is free on the day of your first visit.

Once you've determined where you need to go, there are several ways to travel back and forth between MD Anderson's buildings if necessary. To travel between buildings you may ride a shuttle bus or to cross Holcombe Boulevard you may walk across one of the pedestrian sky bridges. The sky bridge from the Main Building to the May's Clinic also offers motorized carts that run back and forth with one stop at the Faculty Center for patients staying at the Rotary House Hotel.

The system that helps visitors find their way throughout MD Anderson's campus is called Access. Access divides routes into short segments so they're easy to understand and remember. Clear signs guide you from landmark to landmark. Along the way are concierge information centers where you can find general information kiosks with ATM like touch screens that are easy to use and will print customized directions for you. Or you can stop and ask an employee or volunteer and they'll be happy to help you.

You'll be assigned to the multidisciplinary center which specializes in your particular type of cancer. Each center brings together in one location many of the people and services needed to provide your care. If English is not your first language, Language Assistance can provide translators to help you communicate with your healthcare team. These teams of healthcare professionals include your physician who will supervise your care, and your nurses, case manager and social workers. Your case manager will help you coordinate medical and financial information. Including insurance benefits. Your social workers can help you identify community resources, housing, transportation or support groups. Dieticians, pharmacists and patient advocates are also available as part of your supportive care team. Your patient advocate will help solve any problems you might encounter at MD Anderson.

The mission of MD Anderson is to eliminate cancer. And research plays a very important part of the process. Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. The main purpose of a clinical trial is to find a better way to prevent, diagnose or treat a disease. Each year more than ten thousand patients at MD Anderson are enrolled in clinical trials. Your doctor can give you more information about clinical trials and tell you what clinical trials may be available to you.

Education also plays an important part in MD Anderson's mission. The Learning Center is a free consumer health library that offers up-to-date information about cancer and health related topics. It has four branches located in the Main Building, the Rotary House Hotel, the May's clinic, and the Proton Therapy Center. Also you may go online to the myMDAnderson website where you'll find information tailored to your individual needs. Ask your center for your username and password.

Many support services and amenities are available for patients and families. For example, the Department of Volunteer Services provides a variety of activities and resources including the Beauty and Barber Shop where hair and head care services are provided at no charge. The Patient and Family Library offers several types of reading materials, including books, magazines and newspapers, as well as audio cassettes and tape recorders. Also there are gift shops throughout the campus, including a retail shop in the May’s clinic called Appearances, which offers specialty items for cancer patients such as breast prostheses and head coverings. The Anderson Network is an organization of current and former cancer patients who provide support for each other. Through the Anderson Network you can linked up with other patients with your same diagnosis. The network also sponsors two Hospitality Centers. One in the Main Building and one in the May’s Clinic, where patients can drop in for a cup of coffee and a visit.

MD Anderson chaplains representing a broad range of religious beliefs and denominations are a great source of strength to patients and families. Chaplains are available for counseling and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Freeman Dunn Chapel is the site of worship services where people of all beliefs can come to meditate and pray. Other interfaith prayer and meditation rooms are located throughout the Main Building and the May’s Clinic.

MD Anderson cares about people of all ages who have been affected by cancer. Kim's Place is an onsite retreat within the institution. Created exclusively for adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 25, it's a place where they can go to relax, learn, find support and interact with others their own ages. And finally the Place of Wellness is an environment where all persons touched by cancer may enhance quality of life through complementary therapy programs that include yoga, meditation and nutrition classes. Located in both the Main Building and the May’s Clinic, activities are designed to promote the healing abilities of the body, mind and spirit.

These are just a few of the many services and programs at MD Anderson that are here to help you. They are all designed to support MD Anderson's mission which is an unchanging one. To serve each patient while working toward our ultimate goal of eliminating cancer.