Local oncologist Christopher Chay receives highest honors from the American Medical Association

Press release from Messino Cancer Centers: 

Messino Cancer Centers (MCC), an American Oncology Network, LLC (AON) partner, is pleased to announce that Medical Oncologist Christopher Chay, MD is a recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Medicine Pride in the Profession Award. This award is one of the highest honors given by the American Medical Association (AMA) and recognizes physicians who aid underserved populations in the U.S.  Dr. Chay has been honored for his efforts in championing an Oncology Medical Home model of delivering quality and value in cancer care to rural areas.  The national award ceremony will be in 2021 but it is unclear at this point if it will be in person or virtual due to COVID-19.

Through his initiatives, Dr. Chay recruited leading medical oncology experts, developed a clinical trials program and successfully launched a triage/urgent care for cancer patients in the most rural parts of Western North Carolina. His actions resulted in some of the lowest rates of emergency room visits and hospitalizations for this areas oncology patients.

“I am so honored yet humbled to receive this award by the American Medical Association,” said Dr. Chay. “I am passionate about helping my patients during their cancer journey, but I also care deeply about giving back to the community where my patients live, making sure they have access to quality care and positive outcomes.”

With this award, Dr. Chay receives a $2,500 grant which he is donating to LoveLights.  This charitable foundation serves patients who have a cancer diagnosis and need assistance during treatment.  The charity provides support for food, utilities and transportation for those in need.

Founder of Messino Cancer Centers Medical Oncologist Michael Messino, MD was also awarded earlier this year for his service to the community.  Dr. Messino was the recipient of North Carolina’s highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor.

“From the start our philosophy has been to provide cutting-edge, evidence-based medicine with personalized care without worrying about the patients’ socioeconomic background or location,” said Dr. Messino.

This recognition for Dr. Chay is a great acknowledgement for him and the MCC team.  Messino Cancer Centers was built on over 30 years of family caring for family by providing genuine kindness and compassion for their patients and their community.  The team of 14 medical oncologists and 18 physician assistants and nurse practitioners and 120 staff members demonstrate their commitment to their community holding fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for various charitable organizations including LoveLights and Toys for Tots.  Staff wishing to participate donate $5 to “dress down” on Fridays.  Additionally, every month members of the MCC team cook and serve meals to the residents at Steadfast House.

“We admire the Messino physicians for their merited awards for giving back to their communities,” said AON CEO, Brad Prechtl, MBA.  “As an AON partner practice, Messino Cancer Centers embodies AON’s mission of providing the highest quality, cost effective—yet compassionate cancer care close to where patients live.”

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