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Practice Spotlight

Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Northern Michigan

The team at KCI at McLaren Northern Michigan takes pride in how they care for their patients. Petoskey is a small and caring community where Elena Coppola, DO and her colleagues proudly provide service and education to the community. Dr. Coppola has been a hematologist/oncologist at KCI at McLaren Northern Michigan Oncology Practice for 8 years. Dr. Coppola received her medical degree from the Michigan State Osteopathic College and completed both her residency and fellowship in Hematology Oncology at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

Dr. Coppola has worked on several MOQC quality improvement initiatives. Work on the oral chemotherapy initiative has improved the way oral chemotherapy follow-up and adherence are managed by introducing follow-up phone calls and standardized forms. Dr. Coppola has also been involved in MOQC’s hospice initiative and finds that starting the hospice conversation early does indeed benefit the patient and her relationship with them.

Recently, as a result of MOQC’s chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting measures, olanzapine was added to their chemotherapy care plan. Thanks to these interventions, practice members are becoming more comfortable prescribing olanzapine.

For those oncologists at the beginning of their career, Dr. Coppola’s words of wisdom are: “The work is hard, but if you put the work in, you will benefit from it. Be patient with yourself because there is a lot to learn. The responsibility is huge but is also respected. Respect yourself and others and treat everyone how you want to be treated, like family. Always know you have support like tumor boards where you can talk to other doctors to help you get insight on how to manage your patients.”

Dr. Coppola is a devoted parent to a 4-year-old daughter and a 22-month-old son. She is an avid runner and has completed half marathons with friends.