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Legacy Health, OHSU combine outpatient cancer clinics to improve access to advanced care in the region

Joint operating agreement between Oregon Health & Science University and Legacy Health will provide a more integrated network of adult cancer care clinics serving a five-county region

Legacy Health and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) today signed a joint operating agreement for their community outpatient cancer clinics that will expand upon their existing collaboration and leverage mutual strengths to improve access to advanced cancer care throughout the region.

The operating agreement will create a more integrated adult community cancer program including radiation oncology, medical oncology and infusion services that will be delivered through eight clinics in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Columbia and Clark counties. Medical oncologists specialize in chemotherapy and other treatments used to manage cancer care. Infusion services administer chemotherapy and other medications. Radiation oncologists use radiation therapy as the main form of treatment.

The joint operating agreement, called the OHSU Knight-Legacy Health Cancer Collaborative, will enhance both organizations’ ability to deliver the best available cancer care in the communities where patients live and more effectively leverage their mutual resources, such as equipment purchases.

“By leveraging each organization’s respective expertise and resources, the OHSU Knight-Legacy Health Cancer Collaborative will deliver the most advanced and personalized care to our patients,” said George J. Brown, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Legacy Health. “Legacy Health is constantly exploring ways to streamline the system of care for our patients. I am proud to see our shared vision of efficiently delivering the most advanced and coordinated care in the region, become a reality today.”

OHSU’s agreement with Legacy Health in cancer care reflects an important advance in the delivery of health care, said Peter Rapp, OHSU executive vice president and executive director of OHSU Healthcare.

“In the interest of responsible health-care reform, both OHSU and Legacy are committed to being proactive and innovative in ensuring patients in our region will continue to benefit from the most advanced cancer therapies and research without duplicating resources. By complementing each other’s strengths we will be able to achieve much more together on behalf of patients than would be possible on our own.”

The OHSU Knight-Legacy Health Cancer Collaborative enables the two organizations to better deliver health care in different ways.

OHSU gains closer integration with Legacy’s network of medical centers. OHSU Knight Cancer Institute community medical oncologists and its radiation oncology department will be able to more easily consult with Legacy physicians on their patients’ treatment plans because they will be operating as one integrated team.

For Legacy, the extended collaboration means closer ties to OHSU’s community medical oncology team. In addition, as the collaboration is rolled out, Legacy patients will benefit from the latest research, diagnostic tests and targeted therapies offered through the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s personalized cancer medicine programs.

Under the agreement, all Legacy outpatient Medical Oncology infusion clinics will be managed by OHSU. With that change, an estimated 18 Legacy positions will be transferred to OHSU. “OHSU and Legacy share a sense of urgency in improving not only treatment options, but the quality of life of our cancer patients,” said Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. “We are eager to share the advances we are making in personalizing cancer treatment and diagnosis. Just as important to us is being progressive in improving the ways in which we can make access to the best care and promising clinical trials more convenient.”

“The driving force behind this collaboration is to deliver the best possible cancer care in the most seamless and efficient way possible,” said Nathalie Johnson, M.D., medical director of Legacy Cancer Institute. “From access to the best available clinical trials and research to a greater number of treatment locations so patients can stay closer to home, we look forward to putting into action the many smart solutions inherent in the deal that was signed today.”

Legacy and OHSU already collaborate in many areas. In 1995, the two health care organizations entered an agreement that ultimately created the Northwest Marrow Transplant Program. That agreement, among other things, made it possible for the two organizations to conduct joint research related to bone marrow transplants and strengthen regional teaching programs related to these treatments.

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