UM St. Joseph Medical Center Signs Formal Affiliation Agreement With GCC
For immediate release: February 06, 2014
Baltimore County patients gain greater access to clinical trials, specialized cancer care
BALTIMORE – The University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center’s Cancer Institute and the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center have signed an affiliation agreement that provides UM St. Joseph patients with greater access to clinical research trials and specialists at the nationally recognized Greenebaum Cancer Center.
The University of Maryland St. Joseph’s Cancer Institute in Towson offers multidisciplinary treatment for many types of cancer, with patients meeting with a team of oncology specialists in one location to develop individualized treatment plans. The cancer center, which opened in 2006, is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and its Breast Center has been nationally recognized for excellence by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program of the American College of Surgeons. It offers clinical research trials, but the number of trials available to patients will increase significantly under the new agreement.
The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, located at the University of Maryland Medical Center and led by physicians from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, also offers a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care and is among a select group of cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for its scientific excellence. It is ranked in the top 50 cancer centers by U.S. News & World Report and is a major referral center throughout Maryland and the region.
“At UM St. Joseph’s Cancer Institute, we provide state-of-the-art cancer care, bringing together specialists from all relevant disciplines to develop the best possible treatment plan for each patient. We focus on treating the whole patient, not just their disease,” says Mohan Suntha, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Professor in Radiation Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
“Through this new affiliation with the UM Greenebaum Cancer Center, UM St. Joseph patients will have increased access to a wide range of new therapies offered through clinical trials, many of which are only available at an academic cancer center,” Dr. Suntha says. “Having the ability to tap into the resources and expertise of a nationally recognized cancer center will enable us to better serve the needs of cancer patients in the Towson area and surrounding communities.”
At the University of Maryland St. Joseph’s Cancer Institute, patients have access to specialists in medical, radiation and surgical oncology as well as pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, social workers, geneticists and other cancer professionals. Nurse navigators, who work closely with medical and nursing staff, provide patients with personalized education, support and referrals to community services and support groups.
John A. Olson, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., medical director of UM St. Joseph Medical Center’s cancer center, notes that most patients will continue to receive their care at the center under the new affiliation arrangement. “Many patients prefer to have their cancer treatments closer to their homes, which is why community cancer centers such as University of Maryland St. Joseph’s Cancer Institute play such a critically important role in cancer care,” Dr. Olson says. But, for patients who need additional highly specialized surgery or other types of treatment, there will now be a seamless process for referring them to our colleagues at the Greenebaum Cancer Center for evaluation and possible treatment.”
Dr. Olson is also the Campbell and Jeanette Plugge Professor and vice chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and head of general and oncologic surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“We look forward to working with the skilled specialists at UM St. Joseph’s Cancer Institute and sharing our expertise, especially in regard to expanding the opportunity for patients to participate in clinical trials evaluating possible new approaches to cancer therapy,” says Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center and the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Professor in Oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Cullen notes that the Greenebaum Cancer Center has a very extensive translational research program, with more than 200 clinical trials.
The agreement expands the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center’s network of affiliated cancer centers. The center signed a similar agreement with Upper Chesapeake Health’s Kaufman Cancer Center in Harford County in October 2012.
About the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center
UM St. Joseph Medical Center, which was founded in 1864 by the Sisters of St. Francis, is a 263-bed nonprofit, regional medical center in Towson, Md., and a member of the 12-hospital University of Maryland Medical System. The medical center’s Cancer Institute is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and its Breast Center has been nationally recognized for excellence by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program of the American College of Surgeons. For more information, visit www.stjosephtowson.com.
About the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center
The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Maryland Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The center is recognized for its active clinical and basic science research program. It has comprehensive programs to treat all types of cancer and is a major referral center for patients throughout Maryland and the region. It is ranked in the top 50 of 900 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News and World Report. For more information, go to www.umgcc.org.