Dr. Peter Brett’s Mission to Improve Cancer Care in the Northern Mariana Islands

By  //  February 2, 2023

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Dr. Peter Brett is a medical trailblazer in Saipan, where he has served as the first board-certified oncologist for the past three years.

His arrival in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) marked a significant step forward for healthcare, as it allowed for the creation of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) Oncology Center, which opened in 2020.

Dr. Brett brings a wealth of experience to the role, with over 25 years of experience in cancer treatment. He attended Stanford University School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, and is certified in both internal medicine and medical oncology through the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Upon arriving in the CNMI, Dr. Brett faced the challenge of building a dedicated oncology team from scratch. He worked with consultants and trained his staff, which now includes physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, financial counselors, and more.

Under his leadership, the CHCC Oncology Center is now able to provide chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and molecular targeted therapy to the almost 55,000 residents of the CNMI, as well as perform simple surgeries.

One of Dr. Brett’s main priorities has been to educate patients and families in Saipan about the causes of cancer and how important early detection and screening are. In early 2022, the Oncology Center began offering free cancer screenings to all residents of the CNMI, no matter their insurance status.

The center provides screenings for mammograms, pap smears, HPV testing, FIT tests, low-dose screening CT chest, and tobacco/alcohol/betel nut cessation.

Dr. Brett was struck by the number of residents suffering from cancer upon arriving in Saipan, many of whom were diagnosed with late-stage cancers.

He has treated numerous cases of cervical, colorectal, breast, lung, and mouth cancer. To address this, he has been using live-streamed “Doc Talks” and other outreach programs in order to teach people how to take better care of themselves in hopes that they can prevent more cancer diagnoses in the future.

Dr. Brett’s passion for his work is evident in his dedication to making cancer treatment more readily available to all the residents of Saipan and the CNMI. Thanks to his efforts, the majority of his patients can now receive life-saving cancer treatments while remaining on the island with their families.

He has made a tangible and meaningful impact on the lives of the people he serves, and his work inspires others in the oncology field.

Dr. Peter Brett’s arrival in the CNMI has also had a positive impact on the healthcare system as a whole. Prior to his arrival, cancer patients had to travel off-island for treatment, which could be both costly and emotionally difficult for patients and their families.

Now, with the CHCC Oncology Center, patients have access to high-quality cancer care right in their own community. This not only improves their chances of survival but also allows them to maintain their daily routines and be surrounded by loved ones during treatment.

Furthermore, Dr. Brett has also been able to help reduce the financial burden on patients and their families by offering financial counseling services at the Oncology Center. He understands that cancer treatment can be financially taxing, and has made it a priority to ensure that patients have the resources they need to access the care they need.

Dr. Brett’s contributions to the CNMI do not stop at the Oncology Center. He is also actively involved in community outreach programs and educating the public about cancer prevention and early detection.

He has been a vocal advocate for regular cancer screenings and has urged residents to take advantage of the free cancer screenings offered at the Oncology Center.

He also works with local organizations to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, healthy eating, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol.

In conclusion, Dr. Peter Brett’s arrival in the CNMI has been a game changer for the healthcare system in the island territory. He has brought his extensive knowledge and experience in cancer treatment and has worked tirelessly to build a dedicated oncology team and create the CHCC Oncology Center.

He has made cancer treatment more accessible to residents of Saipan and the CNMI, and has also made it a priority to educate the community about cancer prevention and early detection.

Dr. Brett’s contributions have had a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals, and his work serves as an inspiration to others in the field of oncology.