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Dr. Jack Hensold: Caring and Advocating for Cancer Patients

July 7, 2011

On a normal workday, Dr. Jack Hensold sees an average of 15-20 cancer patients, managing their care and treatment. He has a caseload of 670 patients and is on call every other day. And when he’s not in a room with patients and their families, he’s reviewing radiology, pathology and surgical reports, and dropping in to the infusion room to check on patients or attending case conferences.

When he left his faculty position at Case Western Reserve University in 2005 and moved to Bozeman he remarked, “Here, instead of being pulled in several directions as in academic medicine, I’m able to focus on patient care.” It just turns out that in his view, caring for patients doesn’t stop with clinic visits, he works tirelessly in his spare time and has pushed through many changes on their behalf.

He serves on the professional advisory board of the Cancer Support Community-Montana. It was his idea to include a breast care specialist whose role is to provide personalized, compassionate and timely breast health and breast cancer care to the 9,000 women who come to Advanced Medical Imaging every year for breast evaluation.

Dr. Hensold was instrumental in Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center’s earning American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer accreditation as well as the Center’s becoming a member of the the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Network. And when his patients were given access to SCCA clinical trials but denied routine cancer care coverage, he rallied in support of a bill to advance cancer treatment and research. He and several of his patients testified in Helena and were at the ceremony at Montana State University when Governor Brian Schweitzer signed the cancer clinical trials bill in May.

Because a small number of his patients benefit from medical marijuana he was recently called on to testify in support of continuing cancer patient access to medical marijuana.

And until Dr. Hensold lobbied successfully for it, Montana hadn’t had a law allowing for a cancer drug donation registry. Today, thanks to Dr. Hensold, cancer patients in Montana may donate certain unused and expensive drugs to patients who might otherwise not be able to afford it.

One thing is for certain, Dr. Hensold doesn’t stop working for his patients each night when he leaves Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center. “We can all be thankful to Dr. Hensold for his leadership,” says John Nordwick, CEO/president, Bozeman Deaconess Health Services.

Patient Perspective:

“Jack Hensold, MD is changing the way the way Montanans receive cancer care. However, don’t expect to hear about it from Jack. He is more likely to share information about his favorite music group than reveal his accomplishments in improving cancer patient care in our community and across Montana. As a breast cancer survivor and board member of the Cancer Support Community-Montana, I know firsthand Jack Hensold’s devotion to improving cancer treatment and services. I have also experienced his above and beyond patient care and passionate dialogue about music and skiing, a welcome diversion after months of routine medical conversation. I share his vision—we must be the change that we would like to see in the world. I am thankful that he is part of my own and our community’s cancer care team.”
-–Janette May

Janette May is one of three cancer patients who participated in the new Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center multimedia campaign. Each gave testimonial to the quality cancer care they received right here in Bozeman. In addition to telling her story, she credits Dr. Hensold for his leadership. View Janette May’s story and testimonial about Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center at

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