Dr. Tracy DeGreen
Creating Community Through Patient Advocacy
by Gisele Rinaldi Siebold
When faced with a diagnosis of cancer, having Dr. Hyatt P. DeGreen III (Tracy) as a medical oncologist and advocate means a person does not have to face the challenges of a life-altering disease alone. A firm believer in providing the time that a patient deserves, Tracy advocates for patients and their family members at his practice, Lancaster Cancer Center (LCC). “I am devoted to arming every patient and their loved ones with education, support and the best care and treatment available,” he shares. “It’s my life’s work and the history of our practice.”
Tracy earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and served as Chief Intern at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in Miami Beach, Florida. He completed his residency in internal medicine, as well as his fellowship in hematology and oncology, at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
While Tracy attended medical school, his father, Dr. H. Peter DeGreen II, Emeritus and LCC founder, often spoke with him about patient care. “My dad told me that patients need advocates,” he says. “It didn’t make sense to me while I was in school but it makes sense to me now that I have experienced walking the journey with many patients.”
Tracy has dedicated his practice to devoting attention to each person as an individual, always looking at them as a person first and not entirely as a patient. “Treating cancer is like embarking upon an expedition. Similar to a geographical map or a course of study, available treatment exists,” he explains. “However, the puzzle lies in navigating a path for each individual in order to provide superior care and customized treatment options for the particular form of cancer being dealt with, whether someone is coming in for an initial diagnosis, a second opinion, treatment or follow-up care.”
Listening to Tracy talk about his life’s work emphasizes how much he and his team are devoted to ensuring that from the time people enter the doors of the center, they feel uplifted and part of the LCC family. He and his team help people navigate not only hematological and oncological treatments but also other facets of their journey.
Founded in 1994, The Healing Journey Foundation, led by Tracy’s wife, Melinda DeGreen, is a nonprofit organization developed from the LCC’s vision to provide “care beyond treatment”. “Our team of oncologists treats the disease organically. The Healing Journey Foundation provides mental and emotional support in many forms for patients and their families, such as yoga, aromatherapy and opportunities to gather in fellowship as a community,” explains Tracy. “Patients see each other outside of the chemotherapy room where bonds of friendship are created and strengthened. Programs are designed to educate, inspire and empower, and are free to our patients and their families, as well as to the general public.”
The history of caring provided by Tracy often results in patients referring other patients to him. Recently, a patient nominated him for a Pro Webe humanitarian award through HealthBeMe. HealthBeMe defines Pro Webes as “the healthcare professionals who are also ‘pro-webe’; meaning these are the people who go above and beyond to make us feel ‘human’ in our healthcare experience. These people are knowledgeable, they are compassionate, they listen, they prepare and they genuinely treat you with the utmost ‘care’. These people are rare in today’s health care… that is why we must salute, honor, shoutout those who are really working hard to make our lives better in every possible way.”
“I was honored to receive the Pro Webe humanitarian award and filled with gratitude to learn that the work that I am doing, along with my dedicated staff, is making a difference in people’s lives,” shares Tracy. “We have created a very special, small local community, built upon the highest standards of humanity, dignity and care. Knowing that our patients feel empowered, supported and truly cared for lifts us up and motivates us to dedicate our lives to the work that we do each and every day.”
The Lancaster Cancer Center is located in the Greenfield Corporate Center, at 1858 Charter Lane, Ste. 202, in Lancaster. For more information, call 717-291-1313 or visit LancasterCancerCenter.com.