Cancer Aid Gets Closer To Home Fox Chase Linking With 2 Hospitals

Posted: April 12, 1988

Philadelphia's Fox Chase Cancer Center yesterday announced joint venture programs to extend sophisticated cancer care to patients of two suburban community hospitals.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, on Burholme Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia, one of only 20 government-designated comprehensive cancer care centers in the nation, will work with Montgomery Hospital in Norristown and North Penn Hospital in Lansdale.

"Most patients, 80 to 80 percent of cancer patients, seek cancer treatment at community hospitals near their homes, not academic or cancer center hospitals," said Thomas J. Keane, executive director of the Fox Chase Network, a subsidiary of Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Thus, as part of its strategic plan, Fox Chase is pulling together joint ventures with high-quality community hospitals to make the most sophisticated care and state-of-the-art technology for cancer diagnosis and treatment available to patients and doctors at the community level, Keane said.

The new joint ventures join an existing program involving Fox Chase and St. Mary's Hospital in Langhorne. Keane said that, within the next three months, Fox Chase expects to launch more joint ventures in cancer care with two or three other community hospitals.

"As far as we are concerned, this network we are building is the only program of its kind in the country."

The new program will link Fox Chase Cancer Center with the inpatient clinical cancer programs of Montgomery and North Penn hospitals.

The existing inpatient cancer unit and radiation treatment unit at Montgomery Hospital will be expanded, and an inpatient cancer program will be established at North Penn Hospital.

In addition, the three institutions will share a $2.5 million outpatient facility that will be built on the campus of Montgomery Hospital.

Also, Fox Chase will provide its joint-venture partners with a sophisticated computerized cancer diagnosis and treatment management system.

Fox Chase will gain access to appropriate patients for its clinical research protocols. "The joint venture will allow us to provide the most appropriate therapies to as many patients as possible with their first treatment for cancer," Keane said.