Just days after finalizing their partnership, Cooper University Health Care and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center opened a new $100 million, four-story cancer center in Camden.
MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, located at Two Cooper Plaza adjacent to Cooper University Hospital, and two blocks from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, is one of the most tangible examples of the integration between the two organizations. This state-of-the-art, freestanding cancer center houses a comprehensive array of multidisciplinary outpatient cancer care services, giving patients convenient access to advanced treatment technologies, leading-edge clinical trials and a full range of supportive care services in a single location. This dynamic environment fosters professional interaction and collaboration among physicians from various medical disciplines, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, gynecologic oncology and urology, working on disease-site specific teams.
The Camden Campus’ Building Features:
• Two state-of-the-art linear accelerators and high dose brachytherapy
• PET/CT scanner
• 18 bright, comfortable, chemotherapy infusion bays; two private infusion rooms
• Clinical research space
• Multidisciplinary care center – featuring spacious and comfortable exam rooms and treatment rooms
• Abundant natural lighting, thoughtfully curated artwork and a Tranquility Garden to promote an environment of healing
• Conference and meeting space
• Free valet parking
In addition to the outstanding clinical care, a full range of supportive care services including nutrition counseling, social work , behavior health, complementary medicine and palliative care are available in the new building.
In June, when the two organizations publicly announced their intent to form a partnership, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hailed it as “groundbreaking.”
And it is.
Ranked as the number-one cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey for ten of the past 12 years, MD Anderson also ranks first in the number of research grants and total amount of grant funds awarded by the National Cancer Institute.
The relationship between the two organizations began approximately 24 months ago when Cooper approached MD Anderson for consulting services. During this consultative phase, MD Anderson recognized the opportunity for closer collaboration with Cooper.
“Our partnership with MD Anderson is like no other in the region – with a full clinical integration of our program – taking cancer care in this region to a whole new level,” says Generosa Grana, MD, Director of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. “For patients, it means they’ll have access to MD Anderson treatment protocols and over time, to MD Anderson clinical trials, close to home.
“For the region’s physicians, it means we can greatly enhance the care we give to patients with cancer,” Dr. Grana continues. “And the care delivered in this new center brings our partnership to life.”
“Partnerships help advance and sustain our mission to end cancer,” says Ronald DePinho, MD, President of MD Anderson. “We’re proud to unite efforts with an organization equally committed to offering patients in the region the best possible cancer care.”
It is undeniably a win-win situation for all stakeholders, chief among them patients with cancer and their families.
Over the past several months, an extraordinary clinical and operational integration has been underway to establish the infrastructure, systems and workflows that align the two organizations and, ultimately, optimize patient-care efficiencies, enhance patient satisfaction and foster stronger multidisciplinary collaboration. The early steps Cooper is fast-tracking to achieve these objectives include:
• Developing increased disease-site specialization among
all physicians within the cancer program and recruiting of additional physician and clinical staff to broaden our offerings.
• Transitioning all oncology inpatient rooms to single-occupancy, private rooms.
• Expanding clinical research activity and creating an infrastructure to support it.
• Facilitating real-time intra-operative communication between surgeons and pathologists with on-site pathology and frozen- section capabilities available at all locations where cancer surgery is performed.
• Developing and implementing patient care pathways based on
MD Anderson protocols.
“We are modeling every aspect of the patient experience on what’s been so successful at MD Anderson,” says Amy Starling, Executive Director of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. “ We’re adopting their policies and procedures, staffing models and clinical protocols, and patients will have access to an increased number of research trials. We’re becoming truly integrated and, as a result, everything about the patient experience – from the minute someone makes contact with Cooper throughout their journey of cancer care – will be improved.”
In addition, Cooper and MD Anderson are working together to expand cancer services at Cooper’s Voorhees facility, including the acquisition of a second linear accelerator and a permanent PET/CT scanner.
“The opening of our new cancer center and our partnership with MD Anderson is a game-changer for cancer care in our region,” says George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of the Board at Cooper. “ We will combine the best cancer care in South Jersey with the number-one cancer program in the country to foster a
remarkable opportunity for patients and families of our region.”