Baptist to break ground on area's first integrated cancer center
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - On Monday, June 10, Baptist will break ground on the Baptist Cancer Center, the area's first integrated cancer center, slated to open in mid-2015 near the campus of Baptist's flagship hospital, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.
In March 2013, the state of Tennessee approved Baptist's certificate of need to build the Baptist Cancer Center. Its location near the Baptist Memphis campus puts it close to services cancer patients need, including physician offices and multidisciplinary clinics, which offer cancer patients specialized care based on the type of cancer they have.
The goal is for the Baptist Cancer Center to become a regional resource for cancer patients and their families, according to Baptist leadership.
Services include diagnostics, radiation oncology, chemotherapy and infusion, Cyberknife (a non-invasive treatment for tumors), and stem cell transplant, as well as supportive services and survivorship care.
Breaking ground on the Baptist Cancer Center is the latest in a series of developments in Baptist's overall plan to enhance the level of cancer care available to the Mid-South community, according to Baptist leadership.
Most recently, Baptist announced it had chosen a director for the Baptist Cancer Center and cancer program, Dr. Stephen Edge, a nationally known breast oncologic surgeon. Edge will serve as a catalyst for pulling all the components of the cancer program together and delivering an integrated, advanced standard of cancer care.
In October 2012, Baptist announced its academic affiliation with Vanderbilt University, paving the way for joint quality initiatives and scientific programs, more clinical research and development of disease-specific programs, according to Baptist leadership.
Regionally, Baptist is also building a cancer center, NEA Baptist Cancer Center, in Jonesboro, Ark., to complement its existing programs at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, which has been a part of Baptist since 2007. Baptist affiliate hospitals in Southaven, Miss., Oxford, Miss., Columbus, Miss., and Union City, Tenn., also have Cancer Centers.
"'It's an exciting time for Baptist as we head into our second century of caring for the Mid-South community," said Jason Little, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Baptist. "By building on our solid foundation of delivering leading-edge cancer care to the Mid-South community, we can now offer Mid-Southerners an unprecedented level of cancer care."
According to statistics from the Memphis chapter of the American Cancer Society, 35,610 new cancer cases were diagnosed in Tennessee in 2012, and that number is expected to grow during the next several years. In addition, more people are surviving cancer, and they need convenient access to outpatient services, noted Sean Henneberger, associate executive director of the American Cancer Society, Memphis office. He added having an integrated center for cancer services will help make care more efficient and convenient for patients, as well as help facilitate optimal outcomes.
One of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the United States, Baptist Memorial Health Care offers a full continuum of care to communities throughout the Mid-South. Baptist recently was ranked No. 2 among large employers and No. 23 overall nationally in Modern Healthcare magazine's top 100 "Best Places to Work in Healthcare." The Baptist system, which consistently ranks among the top integrated health care networks in the nation, comprises 14 affiliate hospitals in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas; more than 4,000 affiliated physicians; Baptist Medical Group, a multispecialty physician group with more than 400 providers; home, hospice and psychiatric care; minor medical centers and clinics; a network of surgery, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers; and an education system highlighted by the Baptist College of Health Sciences.