April 2010

CHI Cancer Centers Receive $10.4 Million in Federal Funding

Six cancer centers within CHI have been awarded $10.4 million by the National Cancer Institute for work associated with the National Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP).

After three years as a pilot program, the NCCCP is now a permanent program of the National Cancer Institute. The NCCCP is designed to extend cancer trials and treatment opportunities into community hospital settings. Five CHI hospitals and their cancer centers were part of the NCCCP's pilot stage: Good Samaritan Hospital, Kearney, NE; Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs, CO; Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Lincoln, NE; Saint Francis Medical Center, Grand Island, NE; and St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, MD.

As a permanent program of the National Cancer Institute, the NCCCP has expanded from 16 to 30 sites. Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, IA, is one of the expansion sites, and one of only seven new sites in the expansion that is a community-based hospital. As a new site, Mercy received $900,000 to help fund NCCCP-related activities for the next two years. "This represents a significant recognition of CHI's role and contribution and of Mercy's strengths as an applicant," said John DiCola, senior vice president of strategy and business development for CHI.

The new funding for NCCCP activities, which begins July 1 and continues through June 30, 2012, includes awards for funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The five original NCCCP sites within CHI were able to submit a total of 63 proposals, 52 of which were approved and funded. "This was a tremendous effort by our market-based organizations' cancer centers, our national oncology team and the CHI Foundation," said Deb Hood, director of CHI's national oncology service line. "We are thrilled to have more dollars to support the work being done to provide quality care and clinical trial opportunities to our cancer patients."

Projects funded include:

·        Good Samaritan, Kearney - Received $1.6 million for 10 projects. One project will test strategies for improving the effectiveness of community outreach programs in addressing cancer disparities, with a focus on rural populations.

·        Penrose-St. Francis, Colorado Springs - Received $1.5 million for 11 projects. Projects include the development of a comprehensive smoking cessation program for newly diagnosed cancer patients and survivors.

·        Saint Elizabeth, Lincoln - Received $1.1 million for eight projects. One of the awards will allow Saint Elizabeth to hire a disparities care coordinator to manage cancer patients across the continuum, with a focus on Hispanic and African-American populations.

·        Saint Francis, Grand Island - Received $911,444 for six projects. One project will develop a comprehensive cancer survivorship program and support genetic counseling services in rural community settings across Nebraska.

·        St. Joseph, Towson - Received $2.96 million for 15 projects. One clinical trials project facilitates early phase drug development studies in community hospital settings, in partnership with the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland.

The pilot stage of the NCCCP was very successful according to multiple metrics set by the National Cancer Institute," said Hood. "That success opened the doors for more cancer centers to join the program and for greater project funding, like the funds our cancer centers will be putting to work for the next two years."

In addition to the funds mentioned above, CHI will receive an additional $500,000 for the five original NCCCP sites for a fourth year of program work.

For more information on CHI's national oncology service line and NCCCP activities, contact Deb Hood, debhood@catholichealth.net.