University of Arizona Cancer Center enters affiliation agreement with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center for transformational cancer care

University of Arizona Cancer Center enters affiliation agreement with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center for transformational cancer care

Two leading Arizona health care entities, The University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC), the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center headquartered in Arizona, and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center/CHW (St. Joseph’s), have entered into an agreement to form an innovative collaboration in Phoenix.

The vision is to create an affiliation which leverages the strengths of both organizations, in collaboration with community-based oncologists, to transform the delivery of cancer care and to establish a premiere center for ambulatory and inpatient oncology, with an emphasis on high quality, patient-centered, evidence-based multidisciplinary care, and clinical/translational research.

“We envision our operations in Phoenix – at St. Joseph’s and at our future outpatient facility – as a national and international model of integrated healthcare to fight cancer,” says David S. Alberts, MD, University of Arizona Cancer Center Director.

Since 1976, The University of Arizona Cancer Center has conducted research toward cures for and the prevention of cancer. The UACC is one of just 40 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States and the only such center based in the state of Arizona. St. Joseph’s also has a long history of cancer research and innovative care for some of the most challenging patients in the country.

“I think it’s only fitting that this affiliation blossoms just as the state is starting to celebrate its centennial,” said Linda Hunt, senior vice president of operations, CHW-Arizona and president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. “Both UA and St. Joseph’s have national reputations for excellence and both attract medical talent and patients from around the world.”

St. Joseph’s, an established healthcare leader in the Valley, would serve as The University of Arizona Cancer Center at Phoenix’s primary inpatient clinical site. St. Joseph’s also will provide outpatient clinical facilities at its central Phoenix medical center campus, with eventual expansion of Cancer Center outpatient activities to a multi-story, 250,000-square-foot outpatient center to be constructed on the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus.

The Arizona Board of Regents has endorsed the affiliation, and at its Dec. 2 meeting in Tucson approved the construction of a UA Cancer Center facility on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus. Construction will begin in 2012.

St. Joseph’s provides extensive clinical and translational research programs, as well as supportive infrastructure that will complement and underpin the UACC at Phoenix. This effort will clearly be enhanced by affiliating with the UACC’s academic and research infrastructure and faculty.

This alliance will provide invaluable opportunities for Arizona’s cancer patients, advocates, health practitioners, and students to address a broad variety of oncology problems, and let the organizations work together to provide innovative solutions.

Dec. 2, 2011