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Gibbs Cancer Center, St. Francis partner to fight cancer

STAFF REPORTS
Published on Monday, June 25, 2012

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s Gibbs Cancer Center, a partner with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and an affiliate of M.D. Anderson Physicians Network, has joined forces with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System to expand world-class oncology services and clinical research in the Upstate.

Gibbs, a leader in community-centered cancer care, is home to a growing clinical research division. The alignment of cancer core resources and treatment between the systems initiates a relationship that will advance clinical integration, bolster quality and extend new opportunities for both patients and providers for advanced treatment and research unparalleled in the area, CEOs for both institutions said.

The partnership is rooted in shared goals for the further development of research and cancer services, with an eye towards increased efficiency and reduced costs and seamless transitions of care. “This is a collaboration to fight cancer,” Bruce Holstien, President and CEO of Spartanburg Regional, said. “Opening new doors in the fight against this dreadful disease means many things: Improved access, personalized cancer care and the best new treatments. Joining forces with St. Francis is about the best of the best working hard to get even better at combating cancer.”

Gibbs’ reputation and clinical affiliations, including NCI’s Community Cancer Centers Program, elevates the level of care and expertise needed to find a cure, Mark Nantz, President and CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis, said.

“This is about providing our patients evidence-based medicine and enhanced clinical trials,” Nantz said. “Gibbs and Spartanburg Regional are the clear leaders in community cancer care and clinical research. “We are pleased to be their partner and look forward to pursuing new advancements in treatment, and the increased connectivity to established leaders like NCI and M.D. Anderson.”

When viewed against the changing dynamics in the healthcare industry, the exploration of collaborative clinical integration opportunities is a positive step, Holstien and Nantz said.

Specifically, the relationship between Gibbs and St. Francis is organized around shared goals of new clinical services and programs, supportive care services, operational support, quality support, research, education and community outreach. A combination of administrators and physicians will help the organizations in the continuing investigation of potential treatments that can be offered through the partnership.

“St. Francis is a natural partner for us as we look for ways to collaborate with multidisciplinary care and clinical research and further strengthen cancer care in the Upstate,” Dr. James D. Bearden III, Vice President for Clinical Research, and Managing Physician at Gibbs. “We’re very excited and thrilled for the community.”

“It is a tremendous milestone when two of the strongest centers of excellence for cancer care in our region come together focused on a single goal: ‘What is the absolute best we can achieve for each patient?’ ” said Dr. Gary Spitzer, Medical Director, Oncology, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System.

“There is much more to come,” Dr. Julian C. Josey, Chairman of Radiation Oncology at Gibbs, said. “These goals represent doors that are opening, and we’re excited about the advancements that we can engineer by working together. This really means more for the future than it does now. Gibbs and St. Francis are dedicated to the advancement of a cure and saving lives.”

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