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Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners Program Celebrates 25 Years of Setting the Standard for Cancer Care Delivery at the Community Level

Philadelphia (November 28, 2011) – A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but having to choose a doctor and treatment facility can pose even more of a challenge—especially for those who may not live in areas where National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer centers exist.  This is why Fox Chase Cancer Center decided, 25 years ago, to develop a program in which NCI designated cancer centers and community hospitals could work together to provide patients better access to the latest cancer care and treatments.  The program, known today as Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners, involves a select group of community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey whose cancer programs are affiliated with Fox Chase Cancer Center.

“What started 25 years ago as Fox Chase Network, the country's first community cancer affiliate program, has evolved into Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners,” says Michael V. Seiden, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Fox Chase.  “This program has set the standard for cancer care delivery at the community level and has served as a model for cancer networks nationwide."

Established in 1986, the Partners program was the first known cancer affiliate network in the United States. Through their connections with Fox Chase, Partner hospitals provide the latest in cancer research, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in their own communities.

“The initial focus for developing the program was to offer excellent cancer care close to home for patients who were unable or didn’t want to drive the extra distance to Fox Chase for expert treatment,” says Paul F. Engstrom, MD, chief network officer at Fox Chase.  “In addition to accomplishing this, we’ve been able to expand research opportunities for the Partner hospitals to encourage more physician-initiated studies and pharmaceutical research collaborations, develop new benchmarks to ensure quality assurance, and offer a growing array of community and professional education resources.”

Being a member of Fox Chase Cancer Center Partners offers a number of benefits to both patients who seek medical care and health-care professionals who provide treatment at affiliate institutions. Some of these advantages include:  access to and participation in clinical trials, quality improvement with benchmarking, continuing education for staff, patient referrals, marketing support, data and statistics for strategic planning, accreditation assistance, and business and financial planning support.

“Since becoming affiliated with Fox Chase in 1991, PinnacleHealth System has seen an incredible benefit to the community through our relationship,” says Betsy Kopp, director of cancer services and research at PinnacleHealth-Fox Chase Regional Cancer Center.  “From proven processes to groundbreaking clinical trials, working with Fox Chase has provided numerous benefits.  Most importantly, partnering with Fox Chase has enabled us to provide better care to cancer patients in our community, a mission that is integral to all we do at PinnacleHealth.”

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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