FALL RIVER, Mass. — Southcoast Hospitals Group today announced its Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care has formed an exclusive regional affiliation with M. D. Anderson Physicians Network®.
M. D. Anderson Physicians Network is a subsidiary of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, one of the world's most respected leaders in cancer care and ranked No. 1 in the nation, by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Cancer Hospitals" survey for six of the past eight years including 2009.
Combining the region's top cancer provider with the expertise of the nation's leader in cancer care, the affiliation will offer new hope and state-of-the-art care for cancer patients in the South Coast region.
"Southcoast's affiliation with M. D. Anderson Physicians Network further solidifies our mission and commitment to provide the most advanced health care services to residents of the South Coast region," said Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO of Southcoast Hospitals Group, which includes Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.
"Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care are dedicated to creating a caring environment that integrates patient care, research and prevention," Hovan said. "This affiliation is firmly based on bringing an unprecedented level of cancer care for patients in our community"
Southcoast Hospitals Group through its Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care is the first hospital in New England to have an exclusive local affiliation with the prestigious M. D. Anderson Physicians Network and is one of only a few affiliates in the U.S. The M. D. Anderson Physicians Network affiliation is offered selectively to qualified community hospitals and their medical staffs in the U.S. only after a rigorous and extensive evaluation process based on evidence-based treatment guidelines and quality management. This affiliation will enable patients to be treated at Southcoast with the assurance of best national practices in patient care. Because of this relationship the expert staff and physicians of Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care will be able to closely collaborate with M. D. Anderson and bring more than 100 evidence-based treatment regimens for almost every type and phase of cancer to the community.
Raising the bar for South Coast cancer patients
"Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care are working with the nation's leader in cancer care to bring new hope and advanced standards of care to cancer patients in our community," Hovan said. "The Physicians Network program provides access to the evidence-based guidelines developed by M. D. Anderson. It provides reassurance to our patients that the comprehensive cancer services at Southcoast are based on advanced standards of care and proven best practices.
"By assuring that residents of the South Coast have access to comprehensive, high-quality care, Southcoast is raising the bar in our community. Making sure Southcoast's physicians and caregivers follow these standards of care, will help us deliver better care to cancer patients on the South Coast."
Medical and radiation oncologists at the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care are credentialed by M. D. Anderson Physicians Network. Southcoast also underwent successful site visits of its medical and radiation oncology facilities, including medical record reviews, chemotherapy policy and practices, and physical plant and equipment.
"What is most important is that our patients and their families are involved in treatment decisions and are placed on an established and well-communicated treatment plan," said Therese M. Mulvey, MD, Physician-in-Chief and Medical Oncologist for the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care. "Having all providers following the same evidence-based guidelines using a multidisciplinary team approach is proven to reduce diagnostic and treatment variations."
Work on the affiliation began more than a year ago when Southcoast first opened its comprehensive medical and radiation oncology program in the Mitchell Building at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River.
"We congratulate our stellar team of oncology professionals and physicians for providing cancer care that meets these rigorous standards," Hovan said. "Being affiliated with M. D. Anderson Physicians Network means Southcoast has the required expertise and comprehensive cancer services in place. For our patients, this affiliation means easy local access to our Southcoast physicians, caregivers and a cancer program that is following the cancer care guidelines developed by M. D. Anderson."
Giving patients new options
The mission of the Southcoast Center for Cancer Care is to provide patients with the resources and care they need right here in the South Coast. However, Dr. Mulvey noted that, if necessary, patients will continue to be referred to "the appropriate setting regionally or nationally, as we would have in the past based on the specific disease and needs of the individual patient."
Southcoast's staff and physicians will also have access to extensive professional development programs offered by specialists at M. D. Anderson, including the latest research, multidisciplinary treatment planning conferences and didactic lectures by M. D. Anderson Physicians Network. The cancer program is not limited to diagnosis and treatment — there is a strong emphasis on patient satisfaction, comforts and education.
"Cancer care is complicated. No one can do it alone and no community cancer program can have everything," Dr. Mulvey said. "We provide comprehensive cancer care — and we do it in the best possible way. By building a strong community program with access to the nation's top-performing cancer program, we are assuring our community advanced care and clinical outcomes. We want our patients to rest assured their treatment plans are being measured against proven benchmarks with great outcomes and quality oversight."