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Cancer Centers will integrate with Greenville Hospital

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cancer Centers of the Carolinas (CCC) and Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS) announced Tuesday that CCC will integrate with GHS to strengthen cancer care and ultimately create a regional cancer center “unlike anything else that exists between Atlanta and Durham.”

The broader programming and services would also help make the center eligible for coveted National Cancer Institute designation, which would make it more competitive both for national research grants and additional patient support.

The 26 physicians and approximately 330 employees of CCC will become GHS employees in May,

The Carolinas Cancer Center, adjacent to its office at the Greer Memorial Hospital campus, has announced its expansion that will additional services.

Benefits will include expanded access to multidisciplinary clinics, cancer sub-specialists, novel research trials, patient and family support services, palliative care, nutrition support, survivorship programs, prevention programs and direct patient support. Fellowships in areas such as hematology-oncology, gynecological oncology and radiation oncology could also be a possibility.

One immediate benefit will be the integration of clinical, demographic and administrative data, which will enhance the patient experience by putting key information more readily into the hands of the physicians and clinicians.

“By joining GHS, we will enjoy the benefits of being part of a larger organization which will allow us to expand our services and offer even more comprehensive care to our patients,” said Dr. Michael Zurenko, president of Cancer Centers of the Carolinas. "CCC has made a significant impact on the lives of cancer patients over the last three decades, but, in order to move care to the next level, we need to help develop a regional cancer center of excellence. We hope to make Greenville a destination for cancer patients in the Southeast and provide the most sophisticated, personalized cancer care and service possible."

Cancer Centers of the Carolinas plans to have the same group of physicians at the same locations with the same staff providing the same excellent care, he said.

A strength of the program will be services provided by The US Oncology Network, a division of McKesson Specialty Health, which has provided services to CCC over the past 17 years. The network will provide program support, clinical trials, evidence-based protocols, process improvement, information services and performance benchmarking services, all necessary to achieve a regional cancer center of excellence.

“Coming together as one cancer program is the next logical step in an evolving relationship,” said Dr. Gluck. “We will build on the current NCI designation to achieve next-level NCI designation. Our integration, in tandem with the enhanced designation, will allow us to further leverage our resources for the benefit of patients.” CCC physicians can also be involved in the full spectrum of GHS research and teaching programs such as the USC School of Medicine-Greenville, which opens its doors this summer.

“This relationship makes it possible to achieve a cancer center unlike anything else that exists between Atlanta and Durham,” said Dr. Larry Gluck, medical director of GHS Cancer Services and a CCC physician.

When the organizations come together, the GHS cancer program will include approximately 50 physicians specializing in cancer care for adults and children with 10 locations throughout the Upstate. 

Bringing CCC and GHS together to accelerate the fight against cancer is a huge win for the entire region. We will be able to leverage the full resources of both organizations to dramatically improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, said Michael Riordan, GHS president and CEO.

“This is one of the most significant events in the second 100 years of the Greenville Hospital System and will change the narrative going forward,” said Riordan.

A transition team comprised of CCC and GHS staff is working towards an implementation date in May. The 26 physicians and approximately 330 employees of CCC will become GHS employees at that time.

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John Mansure

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Greer Memorial Hospital

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