I’ve spent the last seven years of my life marketing affiliations between hospitals and academic medical centers, among other things. Affiliations are always challenging because the marketing represents two distinct brands with two sets of brand standards and two sets of decision-makers. Often these affiliation involve bringing advanced specialty or sub-specialty care to regions where they were not previously available. They almost always involve bringing a higher level of that care to the region. That is a very good thing.
Last week it was announced that a new affiliation between Cooper University Health Care and MD Anderson Cancer Center, organizations with which I have relationships, will bring the absolute highest level of cancer care and research to the Delaware Valley Region, including South Jersey. People within the region will now have access to the vast array of clinical trials and novel treatments available through MD Anderson. It is an exciting development that I am pleased to share through my blog.
Here is the official announcement of the affiliation:
Cooper University Health Care and MD Anderson Cancer Center have signed a letter of intent to form a partnership that will provide cancer patients in the region with access to the most advanced cancer treatments available.
The institutions have agreed to create a joint Cooper-MD Anderson Cancer Center and co-branded centers in New Jersey. The partnership includes exclusivity for MD Anderson and Cooper in New Jersey, Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania for any future centers.
The impending partnership will provide patients across the region access to MD Anderson’s world-renowned treatment protocols, extensive clinical trials and leading-edge translational research. The institutions plan to open their first jointly operated cancer center on Cooper’s main campus in Camden, NJ, in October of this year. They will also, in parallel, work together to expand the cancer center satellite hub on Cooper’s suburban campus in Voorhees, NJ.
“This groundbreaking partnership between MD Anderson and Cooper Cancer Institute will bring world-class treatment, care and research to New Jerseyans living with cancer,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Through this collaboration, Cooper Cancer Institute will be able to expand its leading cancer treatment programs in New Jersey, providing hope and courage for our cancer patients and their families. I welcome MD Anderson to New Jersey and applaud their joint efforts with the Cooper Cancer Institute to defeat cancer.”
MD Anderson, located in Houston, Texas, has been ranked as the No. 1 cancer hospital according to U.S.News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey nine of the past 11 years. By way of comparison, the other cancer centers in the Philadelphia/South Jersey region rank as follows: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (19), Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (20), Robert Wood Johnson (49) and Fox Chase Cancer Center (50).
MD Anderson also ranks first in the number of research grants awarded and total amount of grant funds given by the National Cancer Institute. In Fiscal Year 2012, more than 115,000 patients turned to the institution for cancer care. MD Anderson’s mission is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public.
“This is an exciting step in formalizing our relationship with Cooper University Health Care,” says Ronald DePinho, M.D., MD Anderson president. “Partnerships help advance and sustain our mission to end cancer. We’re proud to unite efforts with an organization equally committed to offering patients in the region the best possible cancer care.”
Cooper University Health Care, which includes the 600-licensed-bed Cooper University Hospital in Camden, has more than 500 employed physicians and more than 100 outpatient offices throughout southern NJ and into Pennsylvania. The Cooper Cancer Institute is one of the region’s leading providers of outstanding cancer prevention, screening, diagnostic and treatment services.
“This is a game changer for cancer care in our region,” said George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of the Board at Cooper. “We will combine the best cancer care inSouth Jerseywith the number one cancer program in the country to foster a remarkable opportunity for patients and families of our region. The breadth of this cancer program will connect patients to an increased spectrum of cancer care far reaching on the East Coast.”
Cooper and MD Anderson will open a new, state-of-the-art, freestanding cancer center this October on the Cooper Health Sciences Campus in Camden. The $100 million, four-story, 103,050 sq. ft. building is designed to provide patients with one facility that houses all outpatient cancer care services in a multidisciplinary approach to oncology care. In the new building, physicians from various disciplines (medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, gynecologic oncology and urology) will conduct concurrent, complementary clinical sessions, fostering professional interaction and collaboration. Patients will benefit from easy access to advanced treatment technologies, groundbreaking clinical trials and a full range of supportive care services all in one location. In addition to the opening of the new cancer center in Camden, Cooper is expanding cancer services at Cooper – Voorhees, including the addition of a second linear accelerator and the installation of a permanent PET/CT scanner.