Jefferson to lead Head and Neck cancer programPublished on Thursday, March 22, 2018Media Contact: Cynthia WallDr. John Ruckdeschel, University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute director, has named Dr. Gina Jefferson head of the Interdisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Program.Jefferson, associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, is a surgeon specializing in head and neck cancer and microvascular reconstruction. She is chief of the Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology.“We were very fortunate to be able to recruit Dr. Jefferson back to Jackson. She is a visionary leader and will take one of our strongest programs to even greater heights,” Ruckdeschel said.JeffersonJefferson said she hopes to refine the process the Head and Neck Interdisciplinary team members use when they evaluate patients “so we can recommend the best therapy, the best recovery and the best clinical trials.”“We want to make sure our patients are aware of the truly interdisciplinary nature of head and neck cancer treatment including discussion of proposed therapeutic plans at our Head and Neck Tumor Conference,” she said. “It’s important to let patients know that at the appropriate time, this team can provide speech therapy, help with controlling pain, nutrition and other services. We can treat their cancer in a comprehensive manner.”I hope to see this lead to improved satisfaction, fewer readmissions and shorter hospital stays,” she said. Jefferson is returning to UMMC from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She worked with head and neck patients at UMMC from 2009-2013.