Hartford Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, a world-class cancer center in New York City, this morning announced an alliance that will establish clinical trials in Hartford.
In an interview in Hartford this morning, Craig B. Thompson, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, said that the new Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Alliance technically begins now but that it will be about six months before Hartford Hospital can begin work on clinical trials. The network should add about 7,000 eligible patients, he said.
"Until now, we didn't have any way to offer the best care that we can offer," Thompson said, "but now we do."
The announcement capped a year of discussions between Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Hartford HealthCare, a health network that includes Hartford Hospital, Sloan-Kettering said in its written announcement.
"Through the MSK Cancer Alliance -- and in collaboration with Hartford HealthCare as a pioneering member -- we are looking to create a new model to address the fundamental challenge of providing high-quality cancer care in a wider population of patients," Thompson said in prepared remarks.
Elliot Joseph, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare, said in a prepared statement, "This will save lives by bringing evidence-based, world-class standards to our entire provider network."
Memorial Sloan-Kettering has what it calls "one of the largest clinical research programs in the world." It reports on its website that as of December 2012, its doctors led more than 1,100 clinical research studies.
Besides Hartford Hospital, which has 867 beds, the network of Hartford HealthCare includes the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain and Southington, MidState Medical Center in Meriden, Windham Hospital, and William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich.
In its announcement, Memorial Sloan-Kettering describes the new arrangement this way:
"Memorial Sloan-Kettering physicians and leadership will now be collaboratively guiding HHC toward excellence in both its cancer care and clinical research programs. This will be achieved, for example, by collaborating on disease management teams, through on-site observations of new techniques, by sharing educational resources, by conducting quality and outcomes research, and by working together toward expand access to Memorial Sloan-Kettering's clinical trials.
"Through these ongoing efforts, HHC will be empowered to learn, adapt to, and adopt Memorial Sloan-Kettering standards of care within the context of its own institution and in the context of the communities it serves.
"Over the next six months, teams from Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute will work collaboratively to assess the resources and capabilities of each of the system's five acute care hospitals, identifying specific areas of focus. In addition, they will jointly recruit a physician-in-chief of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute who will be on the staff at both Hartford HealthCare and Memorial Sloan-Kettering. The two organizations will work over the next few months to integrate Hartford physicians into Memorial Sloan-Kettering's disease management teams."
Check back for details on this developing story. ___