For immediate release: Jan. 30, 2014
NORTHAMPTON — Starting this fall, Cooley Dickinson Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center will bring expanded and cutting-edge oncology services to the Pioneer Valley through the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
The new venture will substantially broaden the depth and breadth of cancer services at Cooley Dickinson, which has collaborated with the Mass General Cancer Center since 2009. In 2015, the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson will relocate to a new facility in the North Building of Cooley Dickinson’s Locust Street campus.
Craig Melin, president/CEO of Cooley Dickinson, said the expansion of the relationship between the Mass General Cancer Center and Cooley Dickinson Hospital is the first local clinical service to be strengthened as a result of Cooley Dickinson’s 2013 affiliation with Massachusetts General Hospital.
Sean D. Mullally, MD, medical director of the Cooley Dickinson Cancer Care Program, said the new cancer center will be operated by Mass General Hospital Cancer Center and that all the physicians will become Mass General doctors.
“Our new working relationship will increase access for Pioneer Valley residents to nationally ranked expertise and world-class cancer care, often without having to leave Northampton,” Mullally added.
Mullally said that expanded services will include:
- Access to clinical trials at Mass General Cancer Center; the Mass General Cancer Center is one of the nation’s leaders in targeted therapy trials in, among other diseases, lung cancer and melanoma.
- Implementation of Mass General Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary care model, where patients and their medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists meet in a single appointment to plan all aspects of care, for some cancer types.
- Increased number of Mass General Cancer Center-modeled chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment protocols available at Cooley Dickinson.
- Access to Mass General Cancer Center-led genetic screening and counseling, which is critical for many cancers.
The Future of Cancer Care
Joel H. Schwartz, MD, director of oncology services at the Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center, and medical oncology network clinical director at Mass General Cancer Center, will provide Mass General oversight of the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson. He said the new relationship between Mass General and Cooley Dickinson is a visible example of the future of cancer care.
“Cancer is complex and it takes a coordinated relationship between community hospitals and academic medical centers to create a new cancer care paradigm, where the right approach to care and treatment is delivered to the right patient at the right time and in the right place,” Schwartz said. “That’s where cancer care is going and why the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital is important to the people of the Pioneer Valley.”
Besides Mullally, physicians who will be a part of the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson are medical oncologist/hematologist Lindsay Rockwell, DO; medical oncologists Barrett Newsome, DO, and Deborah Smith, MD; and radiation oncologists Linda Bornstein, MD, and Jennifer J. Hyder, MD.
Mullally said all of the physicians, along with the nurses, radiation therapists, social workers and other members of the cancer care staff at Cooley Dickinson are excited about becoming the care team of the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson.
New Facility Plans
Cooley Dickinson and Mass General Cancer Center physicians and staff have collaborated closely over the past year in designing the new cancer facility to be constructed at Cooley Dickinson. It will be built directly above the current radiation therapy department at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Cooley Dickinson’s Development team has raised $2.4 million toward the $5 million goal to fund construction of the center.
The state-of-the-art facility will be geared to addressing the body, mind, and spirit needs of patients and families and enable multidisciplinary care.
About the Massachusetts General Hospital
Founded in 1811, Massachusetts General Hospital (www.massgeneral.org) is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The 950-bed medical center each year admits approximately 48,000 inpatients; handles nearly 1.5 million visits in its extensive outpatient programs at the main campus, four health centers and satellite facilities; and records more than 90,000 visits to its Emergency Department. The surgical staff perform more than 38,000 operations annually, and the MGH Vincent Obstetrics Service delivers more than 3,600 babies a year. MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $750 million. The largest nongovernment employer in Boston, the MGH has more than 23,000 employees, including more than 3,700 registered nurses. In 1994, MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital – also one of the top 10 hospitals on the U.S. News Honor Roll — affiliated to form Partners HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery system.
About Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Cancer Care Program
Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Cancer Care Program, in collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, encompasses all aspects of cancer care including prevention, early detection, screening, diagnosis, treatment and support for patients and their families. The Cancer Care Program multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists provides comprehensive medical care and seamless, coordinated referrals to appropriate settings for services that may not be available locally. The program has been continuously accredited since 1978 by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, which grants accreditation only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment and are able to comply with established Commission on Cancer standards.
For more information about Cooley Dickinson Hospital, call Cooley Dickinson Public Affairs at (413) 582-2421 or visit www.cooley-dickinson.org.