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VOL. 128 | NO. 114 | Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Baptist Integrates Cancer Care With Center

By Jennifer Johnson Backer

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Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. broke ground Monday, June 10, on an $84.8 million Cancer Center near the Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis campus that is slated to open mid-2015.

The 153,211-square-foot Baptist Cancer Center will open in mid-2015. The $84.8 million center will be near the Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis campus.

(Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.)

Dr. Stephen Edge, who is currently the medical director of the Breast Center at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., has been tapped to be the new cancer center’s medical director. Edge will oversee the construction and the continued development of the comprehensive and integrated center for cancer services. Baptist also is building a cancer center in Jonesboro, Ark.

The Baptist Cancer Center will offer diagnostics, radiation oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services, Cyberknife (a non-invasive treatment for tumors), stem cell transplants and supportive services and survivorship care all under one roof.

“I am happy that in this new cancer center we will have one point of access for cancer care … rather than having to go to multiple different sites,” Stephen Reynolds, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, said at a groundbreaking ceremony attended by politicians, Baptist Memorial executives and staff held at an office complex pond near the Baptist Memorial campus.

The 153,211-square-foot Baptist Cancer Center also will have integrated electronic health records developed by Madison, Wis.-based Epic Systems. That will allow a Baptist-affiliated doctor in Memphis to easily pull up the health history and records for a cancer patient in Oxford, Miss., who comes to Memphis for care.

Jason Little, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Baptist Memorial Health Care, said the Cancer Center will be the first of its kind in the area and will focus on delivering integrated care from start to finish across the Baptist system. The center will bring together cancer providers in all medical disciplines.

“It’s been a dream for a long time,” Little said, explaining that Baptist Memorial executives began the plans to build the center in earnest a couple of years ago.

Patients also will be able to easily access clinical information and follow their treatment plans. Electronic record systems can track and analyze information in ways that paper files can’t, creating new ways to deliver care.

According to data from the Memphis chapter of the American Cancer Society, 35,610 new cancer cases were diagnosed in Tennessee in 2012, a figure that is expected to grow in the next few years.

An online study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute estimated that medical

spending on cancer hit about $125 billion in 2010 based on cost data from 2006. Without any changes to cancer trends, the study projected that there will be more people with the disease and that costs will jump 27 percent to $158 billion in 2020.

Edge, the Cancer Center’s new director, says he hopes to study new ways to effectively and affordably deliver cancer care through Baptist Memorial’s partnership with Vanderbilt University. He has been active in cancer care research and national policy development for much of his career. Edge’s main research focus has been finding ways to measure quality and developing systems to improve community-wide cancer care.

After a national search, Baptist Memorial announced its academic affiliation with Vanderbilt University in October 2012. The partnership paves the way for more clinical research and the development of disease-specific programs to improve treatment and care plans. Edge said the two institutions will partner to translate advances in mapping the genomes of cancer tumors into improved treatments and care plans.

The partnership also will create new opportunities for joint quality initiatives and more clinical research, he said.

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