Nilesh Vora, M.D., has been named medical director of the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center. Dr. Vora will lead a team of nationally recognized physicians, nurses and other supportive care team members in advancing cancer care for nearly 1,800 newly diagnosed patients each year.
Dr. Vora holds board-certifications in hematology/oncology and hospice/palliative medicine. Cancer can cause physical symptoms, as well as emotional, social and financial effects. Treating these effects is referred to as palliative care. Dr. Vora’s multi-specialty training uniquely positions him to treat the whole patient in mind, body and spirit – a cornerstone of care at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute and a driving factor in his career.
Dr. Vora took advantage of successful training in the local area. During a rigorous training at City of Hope/Harbor-UCLA, he recalls that early in his career, he had the utmost honor of following a mentor oncologist at City of Hope.
“I shadowed an oncologist and was in awe of the amount of trust that the patient had in her doctor and the amount of compassion that doctor demonstrated,” says Dr. Vora. “I was inspired to work in a specialty field with that connection. There is real magic in caring for a cancer patient.”
Over the last decade, Dr. Vora has held several positions with MemorialCare and has been part of the tremendous progress in patient care at Long Beach Medical Center. His positions include Chair of Hematology and Medical Oncology for the MemorialCare Medical Foundation, Assistant Medical Director of Palliative Care at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute, and cancer liaison physician for the Commission on Cancer part of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Vora also was instrumental in the creation and progress of the Bucket List Project at Long Beach Medical Center, which is a wish fulfillment program for adults with life-limiting illnesses and limited resources.
His role as cancer liaison is critical to Long Beach Medical Center maintaining its accreditation from the Commission on Cancer – the national standard for cancer programs in the U.S.
The Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard setting, which promotes cancer prevention, research, education and monitoring of comprehensive quality care.
Dr. Vora is responsible for monitoring and interpreting Long Beach Medical Center’s performance against national data and employing the information to evaluate and improve quality care.
“Dr. Vora is a highly respected member of the cancer community and the greater Long Beach community,” says Ike Mmeje, COO, Long Beach Medical Center. “He is known for his compassion and drive, and is the perfect leader to elevate and grow our cancer institute.”
As he shifts into his new role, quality improvement will remain at the forefront of his vision for the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute.
“There is so much collaboration among physicians; everyone is interested in helping the patient in any way possible,” says Dr. Vora. “Our driver is knowing that we can raise the bar for patient outcomes.”
Dr. Vora will continue to treat patients. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Vora has led and currently is involved in clinical trial offerings at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute. The growth and strengthening of research is part of his long-term goals for the Institute.
Dr. Vora looks forward to a united vision not only at Long Beach Medical Center, but amongst all oncology services within the MemorialCare health system. “It’s my goal to lift our entire program to the level of elite cancer care in our region.”