LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2016) – The Medical Center at Bowling Green announced a new affiliation with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the state's first and only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
“The Medical Center is proud to become a member of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network as we enhance the high-caliber cancer services and programs we provide to Southcentral Kentucky,” said Connie D. Smith, president and chief executive officer of Commonwealth Health Corporation and The Medical Center. “With the support and guidance of the UK Markey Cancer Center, The Medical Center will have access to the latest clinical trials for patients, educational opportunities for physicians and staff and additional outreach and education resources for the community.”
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network was created to provide high-quality cancer care closer to home for patients across the region, and to minimize the effects of cancer through prevention and education programs, exceptional clinical care, and access to research.
The Medical Center is the regional referral center for cancer care in Southcentral Kentucky with nearly 1,000 cancer cases diagnosed at the hospital annually. The Medical Center provides the area’s only radiation oncology program through the Cancer Treatment Center. In addition to radiation therapy, the oncology-related services provided by the hospital include diagnostic imaging, surgery, chemotherapy, psychosocial support, rehabilitation, nutrition, patient navigation, survivorship care planning, and palliative care. The Medical Center operates a second radiation oncology practice, Barren River Regional Cancer Center, in partnership with TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow, Ky.
By becoming a UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network member, The Medical Center will now be able to offer patients access to additional specialty and subspecialty physicians and care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay in their region for most treatments.
“The affiliation with UK Markey Cancer Center will further elevate our cancer program and provide tremendous benefit for our cancer patients,” said Sarah C. Moore, executive vice president for Commonwealth Health Corporation. “As an accredited cancer program through the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, The Medical Center is dedicated to providing expert care for our cancer patients. Having access to clinical consultation services through the UK Markey Cancer Center ensures our patients receive the treatment services they need right here in Bowling Green, minimizing the inconvenience of travel.”
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network supports UK HealthCare's overall mission of ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave the state to get access to top-of-the-line health care.
"UK HealthCare doesn't just serve Lexington and central Kentucky – our mission is to provide all Kentuckians with the best possible care right here in the state," said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK executive vice president for health affairs. "The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network allows us to collaborate with community hospitals to provide top-notch cancer care much closer to home -- saving both travel expenses and time for the patients, in addition to keeping them close to their personal support system."
The UK Markey Cancer Center is one of only 69 medical centers in the country to earn an NCI cancer center designation. Because of the designation, Markey patients have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.
Moving forward, the UK Markey Cancer Center is working toward the next tier of designation – an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, 45 of the 69 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country hold a comprehensive cancer center status. The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network will play a large role in bringing that next level of cancer funding to Kentucky.
"Kentucky is home to some of the worst cancer rates in the country," said Dr. Tim Mullett, medical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. "Collaborating with our affiliate hospitals across the state will enable us to make a positive impact on the dire cancer rates here in the Commonwealth."
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network began in 2006 and comprises 16 hospitals across the state of Kentucky:
• Clark Regional Medical Center, Winchester (candidate member)
• Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, Danville
• Frankfort Regional Medical Center
• Georgetown Community Hospital
• Hardin Memorial Hospital, Elizabethtown
• Harlan ARH Hospital
• Harrison Memorial Hospital, Cynthiana
• Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center
• Methodist Hospital, Henderson
• Norton Cancer Institute, Louisville (Norton Healthcare-UK HealthCare partnership)
• Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Ashland
• Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mt. Vernon
• St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Morehead
• The Medical Center at Bowling Green
• TJ Samson Community Hospital, Glasgow (candidate member)
• Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center, South Williamson
About The Medical Center
The Medical Center at Bowling Green is the flagship hospital for Med Center Health and Commonwealth Health Corporation (CHC). Located in Bowling Green, Ky., The Medical Center is a 337-bed, full service, not-for-profit hospital specializing in heart care, cancer care, obstetrics and neonatology, neuroscience and orthopaedic services. With a mission to care for people and improve the quality of life in the communities it serves, CHC and its entities including The Medical Center at Bowling Green contributed $68.8 million in community benefit in fiscal year 2015. The Medical Center treats patients regardless of their ability to pay and annually provides millions in community benefit through charity care for the uninsured and shortfalls in governmental reimbursements (Medicare and Medicaid). To learn more, visit www.TheMedicalCenter.org.
About University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center
The Markey Cancer Center was founded in 1983 and is a dedicated matrix cancer center established as an integral part of the University of Kentucky and the UK HealthCare enterprise. UK Markey is an NCI-designated center, receiving research funding and many other opportunities available only to the nation’s best cancer centers, and the only NCI-designated center in Kentucky and one of 69 in the nation. The clinical programs and services of the Markey Cancer Center are integrated with the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Markey's cancer specialty teams work together with UK Chandler Hospital departments and divisions to provide primary patient care and support services as well as advanced specialty care with applicable clinical trials. All diagnostic services, clinical and pathology laboratories, operating rooms, emergent and intensive care, and radiation therapy services are also provided to cancer patients through UK Chandler Hospital.
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