April 28, 2022

New Community Health partnership will provide access to ‘world renowned’ cancer care

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett spoke at a press conference announcing the new partnership between Community Health Network and MD Anderson Center Center. - (Farah Yousry/WFYI)

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett spoke at a press conference announcing the new partnership between Community Health Network and MD Anderson Center Center.

(Farah Yousry/WFYI)

Community Health Network and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on Thursday announced a partnership to create a comprehensive clinical and research cancer center in central Indiana. The new center will be called Community Health Network MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“Today is the most significant change to our organization [that] we have ever made,” Bryan Mills, CEO of Community Health Network, said.

The new partnership means the cancer program at Community Health is now a fully integrated cancer program based on MD Anderson’s standard of care and treatment protocols.

Mills said this will give patients in central Indiana access to the innovative cancer treatments and clinical research studies developed by MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas — a global leader in the field.

“It's hard for people to travel, not just one time, but many times in some of these treatments,” Mills said, referring to cancer treatments that require multiple hospital visits over an extended period of time.

 

Community Health’s physicians will also have a closer relationship with MD Anderson’s experts to work on research and consult them on cases. According to a joint statement by Community Health and MD Anderson, a centralized scheduling process will also cut down on the time some patients have to wait — with a commitment to see new patients within 48 hours of referral.

The partnership will extend to Community Health’s centers across Indianapolis as well as satellite centers in Kokomo and Anderson that will follow the same standards of care.

“The residents of central Indiana and frankly, Indiana as a whole, now have local access to world renowned cancer care. That's a big deal,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said.

Community Health Network is the only MD Anderson Cancer Center partner in the Midwest and is one of only six partners across the country. Other partners are located in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, California and Texas.

MD Anderson is the foremost hospital for cancer care, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey ranking. The institution’s cancer clinical trial program is among the largest in the nation, with more than 1,600 trials exploring new treatments and investments of more than $1 billion in research in the fiscal year 2021.

This story comes from a reporting collaboration that includes the Indianapolis Recorder and Side Effects Public Media — a public health news initiative based at WFYI. Follow Farah on Twitter: @Farah_Yousrym.

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