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Cancer Treatment Center selected to continue participation in NCI program

Grand Island, Neb. — The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, selected Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center to continue participation in its national network of community cancer centers.

A member of the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) since 2007, the Cancer Treatment Center was awarded funding for participation in the NCCCP network for the program’s next two years.

Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center participates in NCCCP with Good Samaritan Cancer Center in Kearney and Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute in Lincoln as part of a coordinated regional program. All three hospitals are a part of Catholic Health Initiatives.

The NCCCP is a collaborative network of community hospitals working to: expand cancer research, enhance access to cancer care, and improve the quality of care for cancer patients served by community hospitals in urban, suburban and rural areas, with an emphasis on underserved populations. The majority of U.S. cancer patients are diagnosed with and treated for the disease in their local communities, where they can remain closer to home rather than commute to major academic medical centers. The NCCCP network has served approximately 53,000 new cancer cases each year.

Launched in 2007 as a pilot program comprised of 16 community hospitals, the NCCCP added 14 additional sites to the network in 2010. Funding available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed the 30 NCCCP hospitals to recently compete for a program extension; 21 of them were awarded funds to continue program participation.

Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center’s selection ensures that the NCCCP network’s ongoing efforts to offer state-of-the-art coordinated care and to create research opportunities will continue to be addressed in central Nebraska.

With a major focus on reducing cancer healthcare disparities, the 21 NCCCP community hospitals will continue efforts to enhance patient access to the latest, evidence-based cancer care, improve the overall quality of care, and expand research opportunities across the cancer continuum. Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center’s continued participation in the program helps to support NCI’s overall mission of accelerating cancer research and improving outcomes for cancer patients across the U.S.

“This is great news for our patients and for our medical community,” said Dr. M. Sitki Copur, medical director of Oncology at Saint Francis and principal investigator of NCCCP in Nebraska. “Being approved as one of the initial NCCCP pilot sites in 2007 has allowed Catholic Health Initiatives’ cancer treatment services in Nebraska to develop strong programs in clinical trials, disparities, quality of care, survivorship, palliative care, biospecimens, information technology and communications.”

Copure said participation in the NCCCP has enabled the Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center to establish the infrastructure and has provided the valuable resources needed to make these programs successful. “It is a great honor and privilege to be awarded the funds to continue our participation in the NCCCP program through June 2014,” Copur said. “This will ensure continued high quality, state-of-the-art services covering the entire continuum of cancer care from prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship to end of life care.”

The complete list of NCCCP community hospitals, effective July 1, 2012: Community Hospitals · Billings Clinic, Billings, Montana (Billings Clinic Cancer Center) · Christiana Care Health System, Newark, Delaware (Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care) · Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia (Einstein Cancer Center) · Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa., (Geisinger Cancer Institute) · Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, Wis., (Gundersen Lutheran Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders) · Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn. (Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center) · Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pa., (John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center) · Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa, (Mercy Cancer Center) · Northside Hospital, Atlanta (The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute) · Norton Suburban Hospital, Louisville, Ky., (Norton Cancer Institute) · Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge, La., (Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins) · The Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu (The Queen’s Cancer Center) · Saint Mary’s Health Care, Grand Rapids, Mich., (Lacks Cancer Center) · Sanford USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls, S.D., (Sanford Cancer Center) · Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Spartanburg, S.C., (Gibbs Regional Cancer Center) · St. Joseph’s/Candler, Savannah, Ga., (Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion) · St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, Calif., (The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment) Health SystemCatholic Health Initiatives, Denver, Colorado, for the following hospitals: · Penrose – St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs, Colo., (Penrose Cancer Center) · A coordinated regional program in Nebraska: · Saint Francis Medical Center, Grand Island, Neb., (Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center) · Good Samaritan Hospital, Kearney, Neb., (Good Samaritan Cancer Center) · Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Lincoln, Neb., (Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute) For more information about the NCCCP network, visit ncccp.cancer.gov.

About the Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center

The Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center in Grand Island has served Central Nebraska since 1994 and is accredited by the Commission on Cancer from the American College of Surgeons with commendation for excelling in every aspect of cancer care.

The Cancer Treatment Center offers medical and radiation oncology treatment, a dedicated pharmacy, clinical trials and a cancer rehabilitation team, all in one location — a convenience not typically found in other cancer centers. On the leading edge of cancer care, the Cancer Treatment Center was the first and only cancer program to receive both the Clinical Trials Participation Award and the Community Oncology Research Grant by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in 2010 and is the first in the state of Nebraska to offer RapidArc, the fastest, most accurate technology for radiation therapy. In 2011 the Cancer Treatment Center was again awarded for its excellence as a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award by the American College of Surgeons.

The highly skilled team at the Cancer Treatment Center offers certified genetics counseling, tobacco cessation counseling, nurse navigation, survivorship services, an educational library, support groups and educational seminars.