Mercy Health and Metro Health-University of Michigan plan to integrate cancer care in West Michigan through a new network to treat patients at three locations in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.
The Cancer Network of West Michigan combines cancer care at both health systems with Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. The network allows for greater collaboration between Mercy Health, Metro Health and Michigan Medicine for treating cancer patients and conducting research.
“Together, we can create a world-class comprehensive program for our communities, greater than any of us could create independently, all while keeping our patients at the center of all we do,” said Dr. Clifford Cho, a surgical oncologist at Michigan Medicine and interim executive director of the Cancer Network. “This unique collaboration will help support patients by connecting them to the vast resources available across our respective facilities, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and advanced research.”
The Cancer Network of West Michigan will offer treatment at the Lacks Cancer Center at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, Mercy Health’s Johnson Family Cancer Center in Muskegon, and Metro Health in Wyoming. Clinicians at each health system will provide the care with backing from the expertise of Michigan Medicine’s cancer center.
The three facilities combined treat more than 13,000 cancer patients annually and have 63 cancer specialists and subspecialists.
“This collaboration allows us to also provide deep subspecialty capabilities and work towards giving our patients access to research and clinical trials along with the highest quality care and expertise,” Metro Health President and CEO Peter Hahn said in a statement. “Any patient who enters any one of our facilities can have confidence his or her doctor has access to the full array of expertise, latest research and newest treatments available.”
Boards at Metro Health and Mercy Health’s parent corporation, Trinity Health-Michigan, have approved the agreement for the Cancer Network of West Michigan. The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved it on Thursday.
Mercy, Metro and Michigan Medicine are working to finalize the agreement and have it take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Michigan Medicine already has collaborative agreements with Mercy Health and Metro Health for radiation oncology. Formation of the new treatment network furthers that collaboration.
“Cancer is one of the most complicated diseases to treat, and increasingly sophisticated treatments are available,” Mercy Health Saint Mary’s President Hyung Kim said in a statement. “We are committed to bringing the best possible cancer programs to West Michigan patients and improving access to advanced therapies so patients and families can stay in our region.”