New Research and Administrative Center Opens
Carolinas HealthCare System's Levine Cancer Institute opened its research and administrative headquarters on the campus of Carolinas HealthCare System's Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. By integrating and building upon Carolinas HealthCare System's network of elite cancer programs and centers, the Institute is able to provide its more than 11,000 new cancer patients annually with greater access to specialists, treatments, clinical trials and support services closer to where they live.
While the Institute functions as a series of integrated cancer programs distributing high-quality cancer care systemwide, the building serves as a center for communication, research and administration. It houses the technology infrastructure to more seamlessly connect physicians and care teams and share best practices and programs.
Advancing Coordinated Patient Care
“The opening of the building is symbolic of the entire Levine Cancer Institute network being fully functioning, for the advancement of patient care across the Carolinas,” says Institute President Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD. “The new resources and technology in this space enable us to be better connected to our partner institutions across the Carolinas, sharing knowledge, standard protocols and research, while offering our patients here in Charlotte a state-of-the-art place to receive their cancer care.”
The development of the Institute and the building was made possible by a generous $20 million leadership gift from the Leon Levine Foundation. The building, of which Carolinas HealthCare System began construction in March 2011, features:
- five new stories (for a total of six stories) with more than 171,000 square feet of space
- nine cancer clinics, infusion therapy, palliative care and clinical trials
- Blumenthal Infusion Center with more than 80 infusion chairs
- teleconference space and capabilities for virtual support and case management
- Phase 1 clinical trials unit and the conduct of multicenter tumor boards and conferences throughout the Carolinas to support the administration of novel therapies in the earliest stages of development.
Although Phase 1 investigation is already being conducted, to a limited extent, within the system, the development of this specialized unit will bring advances in the study and treatment of cancer therapeutics to patients more quickly.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Levines and other benefactors, Carolinas HealthCare System, our staff and physicians and communities across the Carolinas for helping make a reality of our vision to bring world-class cancer care closer to home for patients,” says Dr. Raghavan.
To support patients and their families in their survivorship journeys, the building also includes a rooftop healing garden, gift shop, patient image boutique, patient and family resource center (offered in partnership with the American Cancer Society) and class and consult rooms for art therapy, nutrition and wellness, support groups and counseling.
“By leveraging cancer expertise and resources from across our system, we are creating a first-of-its-kind decentralized approach to cancer care, which removes the barriers that separate patients from access to breakthrough research and treatments,” says Edward S. Kim, MD, chair of the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology and Investigational Therapeutics. Dr. Kim was recently recruited to the Institute from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “I am thrilled about the opportunity to implement more novel clinical research trials throughout the system to benefit the people in the Carolinas.”
To date, the Institute has recruited cancer leaders from top-ranked programs across the country. It united more than 30 oncologists already employed throughout Carolinas HealthCare System, hired two pharmacologists and a biostatistician to expand its basic science capabilities and employed support staff, including registrars, social workers, nurses, nurse navigators, survivorship experts and a financial counselor. These experts are developing standard treatment protocols to accelerate efficient, effective therapy and improve patients’ access to clinical research. The Institute also developed robust patient survivorship support programs like patient navigation, integrative medicine and fertility preservation and is piloting programs to reduce disparities and provide improved access to care.
Edward Copelan, MD, FACP, says, “It was this exciting venture, building a ‘cancer institute without walls’ and developing standard best practices to benefit patient care across the Carolinas, that attracted me to Levine Cancer Institute.” Dr. Copelan began as chair of the Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders in September 2012 from a leadership role at the Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute.
A Solid Care Network
Your Partner in Cancer Care
The Institute’s administrative and research headquarters is located at 1021 Morehead Medical Drive, Charlotte, NC. For more information and to take a virtual tour of the facility, visit levinecancerinstitute.org.
Last fall, the Institute announced its charter member institutions, the first group of Carolinas HealthCare System's affiliated hospitals as part of the system’s new cancer care network. Members work across the network, focusing on initiatives like quality of care, technology, clinical trials, data sharing and review, patient navigation, health disparities and community outreach. The charter member institutions are:
- AnMed Health – Anderson, SC
- Batte Cancer Center at Carolinas Medical Center (CMC)-NorthEast – Concord, NC
- Blue Ridge HealthCare – Grace and Valdese Hospitals – Morganton and Valdese, NC
- Carolinas Medical Center (the Institute’s research and administrative headquarters) – Charlotte, NC
- Carolinas HealthCare System Cleveland – Shelby, NC
- Carolinas HealthCare System Lincoln – Lincolnton, NC
- CMC-Mercy – Charlotte, NC
- CMC-Pineville – Charlotte, NC
- CMC-University – Charlotte, NC
- Edwards Cancer Center at CMC-Union – Monroe, NC
- Roper St. Francis Healthcare – Roper, Bon Secours St. Francis and Roper St. Francis Mt. Pleasant Hospitals – Charleston, SC
- Stanly Regional Medical Center – Albemarle, NC