Lawrence Memorial Hospital announced Monday that it has become a member of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, which connects medical facilities and research organizations to Kansas University Cancer Center’s clinical trials, education programs and outreach efforts.
Sheryle D’Amico, vice president of LMH’s Physician Division, said one of the benefits of membership would be access to more clinical trials.
LMH’s Oncology Center already has access to more than 150 clinical trials through the Wichita Community Clinical Oncology Program, and it will continue to be part of this program.
In addition to new clinical trials, D’Amico said LMH oncology staff members will have new opportunities to take continuing education classes. They also will be able to offer their expertise.
“I think it’s going to be mutually beneficial,” she said.
D’Amico believes the partnership will increase awareness about research that’s conducted at LMH.
“We certainly have been very supportive of KU and its overall mission to get NCI designation and to the overall mission of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, which is taking really good care of cancer patients in our whole state. It’s good to be a part of that,” she said.
The Midwest Cancer Alliance was formed four years ago, and it has grown from four members in it inaugural year to 17. Besides LMH, members include the Kansas Bioscience Authority, Stormont Vail-HealthCare, St. Luke’s Health System and Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. Last fall, Via Christi Hospital in Wichita also joined; it administers the Wichita Community Clinical Oncology program that LMH belongs to.
To become a member, LMH filled out an application and Midwest Cancer Alliance officials visited LMH’s Oncology Center in mid-May and helped determine which membership level would best suit the hospital. There are three membership levels: $25,000, $55,000 and $100,000 annually.
LMH decided to become a clinical research partner, which is a midlevel membership. The hospital has made a three-year commitment and will pay $30,000 annually. The rest of the money is being paid through a $5 million annual state appropriation to KU Cancer Center.
“Our goal is to make sure Kansans can access the latest advancements in cancer care close to home,” Gary Doolittle, medical director of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, said in a news release. “Lawrence Memorial Hospital shares this goal and we are excited to welcome them to the network.”
LMH’s Oncology Center serves about 600 new patients each year and administers about 18,000 treatments.