Carolinas HealthCare System
Summer 2012

Built on the Strength of a Network

New Charter Members Announced

Carolinas HealthCare System’s Levine Cancer Institute recently announced its 12 charter member institutions, the first group of CHS-affiliated hospitals as part of the system’s new cancer care network. This connection among member institutions brings increased access to specialist consults, research offerings, and innovative programs and services to patients closer to where they live, based on the involvement of the participating centers in the Institute’s programs.

“We take cancer care very seriously. Through our elite network of affiliated Cancer Nav i gator l e v ine hospitals and physicians, located across the Carolinas, we’re able to bring patients the best cancer care in a more convenient way,” says President Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD.“ The Institute is a national model and shows how we’re investing in our community and the lives of patients by removing the barriers that separate them from access to breakthrough research and treatments.”

LCI Locations MapCharter member institutions include:

Connecting a Vast Network of Care

Dr. Raghavan and the new Levine Cancer Institute buildingMember institutions work together across the network to focus on initiatives like quality of care, technology, clinical trials, data sharing and review, patient navigation, health disparities and community outreach.

“A network of cancer centers and hundreds of cancer care locations across the Carolinas connected technologically and organizationally means patients don’t have to travel long distances to get highly specialized care,” says Edward Kim, MD, chair of the Institute’s Department of Solid Tumors and Investigational Therapeutics. Dr. Kim joined the Institute in July, from MD Anderson Cancer Center, and is one of more than 30 cancer specialists from top-ranked programs across the country recruited to work with the hundreds of oncologists, surgeons and radiologists across the system.

“The Institute is taking a novel, distributed approach, which we believe to be the future of cancer care,” says Roper St. Francis Healthcare President and CEO David L. Dunlap. “The opportunity to be part of a network of cancer programs driving excellence through shared knowledge, and research and programmatic opportunities, will enhance the quality and convenience of cancer care for our patients, as well as those around the region.”

The Institute is creating dozens of programs to support patients through every step of their care, including survivorship and integrative medicine programs like patient navigation and fertility preservation. It offers programs aimed at reducing disparities and providing access to cancer care for those who wouldn’t otherwise receive it. To date, it has screened almost 200 uninsured Charlotte women for breast cancer and has programs in Union and Stanly counties to reach rural and Hispanic communities.

The Institute’s research and administrative headquarters on an elite cancer network For more information about Levine Cancer Institute, call 980-442-2000 or 1-800-804-9376. To sign up for Levine Cancer Navigator, visit levinecancerinstitute.org/physician. the campus of Carolinas Medical Center will be complete in October 2012 and will house the region’s first Phase 1 clinical trials unit, to expand patient access to novel new therapies. However, the Institute will function as a series of integrated units, so patients would only travel to Charlotte if they require a higher level of care or during early phase clinical trials.

“This concept of a ’cancer institute without walls’ wouldn’t be possible without the strong bond between these member institutions,” says Dr. Raghavan. “Together, we’re elevating clinical practice and bringing access to more research, more specialists, standard treatment protocols and innovative programs to all patients throughout the region.”

Phase 1 Clinical Trials Unit

A 5,000-square-foot specialized Phase 1 clinical trials unit is located on the fourth floor of the new Levine Cancer Institute building. Although Phase 1 investigations are already being conducted within Carolinas HealthCare System, this specialized unit will allow the Institute to greatly expand existing efforts and to work with cancer programs throughout CHS. “In an era when new treatments are being developed daily, the Phase 1 unit will serve as a regional center of excellence for patients to receive exciting new agents for the treatment of their cancers,” says Steven Limentani, MD, Institute clinical trials medical director. “The unit will provide increased opportunities for physicians to offer their patients access to novel drug therapies and treatments.”

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