New Comprehensive Care Facility and Collaboration to Enhance Cancer Care in Harford County
Upper Chesapeake Health and the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center have signed an affiliation agreement which will enhance cancer care services for patients in and around Harford County. The announcement of the formal partnership is a result of a two-year collaborative planning process in which Upper Chesapeake Health has strengthened its multidisciplinary cancer services and expanded opportunities for clinical trial enrollment for patients.
The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC), which is located at the University of Maryland Medical Center and is led by physicians from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is among a select group of cancer centers with a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. It is ranked 11th out of 900 cancer centers by U.S. News & World Report and is a major referral center throughout Maryland and the region.
Expanded cancer care services for Harford and Cecil County residents will be fully integrated when a new $60 million cancer center opens on the campus of Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (UCMC), located on Route 24 in Bel Air in Harford County, in the fall of 2013. The Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center is named for Scot and Patricia Kaufman, both strong advocates of improving cancer care in their Harford County community.
The formal affiliation with UMGCC and Upper Chesapeake's new cancer center will provide access to the most advanced cancer therapies, state-of-the-art technology, enhanced supportive care services, and clinical research trials in one centralized neighborhood location.
Lyle E. Sheldon, F.A.C.H.E., President and Chief Executive Officer of Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH), says, "Through our affiliation with the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, we can bring the resources of an academic medical center to northeastern Maryland. We will provide cutting-edge cancer treatments and clinical research trials to many people who want to receive their medical care closer to home. We're very pleased to be affiliated with a top-tier cancer center."
Kevin J. Cullen, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, says, "This agreement enables us to share the expertise of our cancer specialists and provide increased access to clinical trials to residents of Harford and Cecil Counties and the surrounding area. We have a very extensive translational research program, with more than 200 clinical trials to evaluate possible new treatments. Our goal is to move discoveries out of the laboratory into the clinic for the benefit of patients."
This partnership agreement formalizes a relationship between Upper Chesapeake Health and the Greenebaum Cancer Center that began after UCH and the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) entered into a strategic affiliation in 2009, which is expected to result in a full merger of the two not-for-profit health systems in the future. UMMS is a private, not-for-profit network of 11 academic, community and specialty hospitals as well as outpatient sites for primary and specialty care throughout Maryland.
Since 2010, UCH and the UMGCC have collaborated on joint tumor board conferences in which cancer specialists review and discuss patients' medical conditions and treatment options. UCH patients have access to genetic counseling with UMGCC counselors as well as a Breast Center, with a dedicated nurse navigator, and multidisciplinary clinics for breast cancer and lung cancer. In addition, UCH has recruited several new physicians, with the support of the University of Maryland, including Meghan L. Milburn, M.D., a fellowship-trained breast surgeon, who serves as co-medical director of the UCH Breast Center, and Linda Martin, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of Thoracic Surgery at UCMC. Both are assistant professors of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Upper Chesapeake Health has been working for many years toward creating a cancer center providing a comprehensive array of services. The vision has always been to provide a community-based, healing environment that fully integrates with the high-quality clinical and research programs at UMGCC. The cancer programs at Harford Memorial Hospital (HMH) and UCMC are accredited by the American College of Surgeons' (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC). UCMC also received accreditation from ACS as a Comprehensive Cancer Center and HMH as a Community Cancer Center.
Over the past two years, UCMC has fully developed its program to include specialists in cancer and blood disorders. The practice of Maryland Hematology and Oncology Associates formally partnered with Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH) in 2011. Currently, the Upper Chesapeake Hematology and Oncology practice is located in Pavilion II adjacent to the Infusion Center, which provides a convenient environment for outpatient chemotherapy and additional infusion/transfusion related services. Additionally, UCH provides free comprehensive nurse (RN) navigator and oncology-specialized social work, supportive care and complementary medicine services to individuals living with cancer through its Cancer LifeNet Program.
Construction of UCH's Kaufman Cancer Center began in November 2011. When the center opens in late fall 2013, all Upper Chesapeake Health cancer services will be consolidated under one roof.
About Upper Chesapeake Health
Established in 1984, Upper Chesapeake Health is a not-for-profit health organization based in Harford County. The organization owns and operates Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, Harford Memorial Hospital and Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation. One of the largest private employers in Harford County, Upper Chesapeake employs almost 3,000 team members. Visit www.uchs.org to learn more.
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 11th out of 900 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News and World Report. For more information, go to www.umgcc.org.