Physician Profile: Jonathan Cosin, gynecologic oncologist

April 19, 2016

Q: How long have you been in the field of gynecologic oncology? What drew you to this particular field?

A: I have been practicing since 1998, so 17 years. I was drawn to oncology for a number of reasons. I’ve had personal experience with cancer with several people in my family, including my mother, my grandmother and my sister. I’ve seen what kind of impact this disease can have on a family, so I’m highly motivated to do what I can to minimize that impact and provide the best outcome possible for those in my care.

Jonathan CosinAlso, while I initially planned to become a general surgeon, I came to prefer gynecology and women’s health because it’s a field that allows for long term ongoing relationships with my patients. Gynecologic oncology affords me the opportunity to be a complete oncologist— a surgeon and medical oncologist for my patients, while also allowing me to develop relationships with my patients and their families over the course of many years. It’s a very rewarding field from that standpoint.

Q: How have you seen the field evolve over the course of your career?

A: One of the biggest changes in gynecologic oncology has been the advent of robotics and minimally invasive surgery, which has allowed surgeons to perform highly effective procedures with far faster and easier recovery times for our patients. I have also seen many advances in chemotherapy, which have improved survival rates and allowed us to much better manage and decrease side effects. Patients today have far more treatment options available to them and more are coming all the time. It’s exciting to think about what this field will be like in just the next few years.

Q: What can patients expect when they come to the new cancer center in New Britain, the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, for gynecologic oncology services?

A: First of all, they can expect the same patient centered high quality care that my cancer practice has been providing for years. What’s new is that patients can receive this care in an unbelievably beautiful new facility, which really provides a warm and caring environment for patients and their families. Best of all, the new center has laboratory, radiology, radiation oncology and infusion services on site – right down the hall actually – which creates rapid and direct communication among providers to improve the quality of care. Combine that with other specialties including surgical and medical oncology and, eventually primary care, and now you have a single-stop destination for outpatient cancer care.

Q: Is that what sets this facility apart from other cancer centers in the region and the state?

A: I think so, among other things. In years past, patients and their caregivers usually had to get in the car and drive from one outpatient treatment center to another to get the full course of care they needed. The new cancer center offers comprehensive, coordinated care available in a single location, and with Hartford HealthCare investing in the implementation of EPIC, our electronic medical record, we can now offer even more streamlined, efficient cancer services. We as a system are able to provide seamless care to our patients and community. But I think what will really impress people is the setting. This cancer center is hands down the most beautiful setting in which I have ever practiced—when you walk in the front door, it looks more like a high end resort than a hospital! Plus it has a lot of great amenities like a boutique, gift shop, meditation room and a special reflection garden in the back. You have to see it to believe it.

Q: How does the cancer institute’s membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance help patients who go there for care?

A: The new center is part of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, which has a pioneering and bi-directional relationship with Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City, the premier cancer research center in the country, if not the world. Unlike other relationships between health organizations, which can often be more in name than substance, the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute has worked diligently over the past year to establish meaningful treatment protocols and standards for patients throughout our system so that they receive care which is in alignment with those at MSK.

It’s a relationship built on a mutual commitment to bringing the absolute best, most advanced care to patients, and we have worked in a collaborative way with our MSK colleagues to develop these standards. Most importantly, as the relationship matures, we will be bringing MSK clinical trials to patients across the Institute, including the new cancer center in New Britain, allowing our patients to receive leading-edge treatments here in central Connecticut that previously were only available at large metropolitan centers like MSK. A prime example of this would be a sentinel lymph node study already underway within the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, which seeks to find better ways to evaluate and treat patients with uterine cancer. This procedure was developed directly in collaboration with our colleagues at MSK, and has allowed us to bring this technology much sooner to our patients.

Jonathan Cosin, MD, is Board-Certified in Gynecologic Oncology and is Physician Lead of the Gynecologic Oncology Disease Management Team for the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute. Patients may call 860.827.4180 to set up an appointment.