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CHI’s Oncology Research Alliance Receives Funding from the National Cancer Institute’s New Community Oncology Research Program

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded five-year grants to research groups across the country, including members of the Catholic Health Initiatives Institute for Research and Innovation’s Oncology Research Alliance, to conduct multi-site cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research studies in their communities.

The funded sites within Catholic Health Initiatives include:

  • Franciscan Health System – Tacoma, WA
  • Alegent Creighton Health – Omaha, NE
  • Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center – Lincoln, NE
  • Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center – Grand Island, NE
  • Good Samaritan Hospital – Kearney, NE
  • Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines, IA
  • TriHealth – Cincinnati, OH
  • KentuckyOne Health
  • Memorial Healthcare System – Chattanooga, TN

“CHI’s mission seeks to integrate patient care with research and education. Today’s grant announcement recognizes our commitment,” said Kevin Lofton, chief executive officer of CHI. “We are delighted and honored to be part of this National Cancer Institute program.”

CHI’s research alliance is comprised of leadership from CHI’s National Oncology Service Line, Institute for Research and Innovation, and participating research sites.

The grants are being awarded under the new NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), a national network of investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions, and other organizations that provide care to diverse populations in community-based health care practices across the U.S. The total program funding is $93 million a year for 5 years.

“The Institute and our physician partners throughout the country are excited to bring the NCI’s clinical research initiatives to the communities we serve,” said David Fine, president and chief executive officer of the CHI Institute for Research and Innovation.

NCORP will design and conduct trials to improve cancer prevention, cancer control, screening, and post-treatment management. The new program will have an emphasis on cancer care delivery research, focusing on diverse and multi-level factors (e.g., social, financing systems, process, technology, and others) that affect access to and quality of care in the community.

“This award is a significant continuation and expansion of our previous cooperation with the NCI and the expanded emphasis on research and disparities aligns with our collective goals as care providers. Clinical trials are recognized as best practice in cancer care and this program allows a greater breadth and diversity of opportunities for our patients.” said Dr. Dax Kurbegov, CHI’s National Oncology Service Line physician vice president and principal investigator for the CHI grant award.

NCORP replaces two previous NCI community-based clinical research programs, including the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), which funded research-based cancer care in several CHI markets. The new program builds on the strengths of the previous programs and is designed to better address the most pressing issues affecting the conduct and delivery of care in communities across the nation.

About Catholic Health Initiatives
Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit, faith-based health system formed in 1996 through the consolidation of four Catholic health systems, expresses its mission each day by creating and nurturing healthy communities in the hundreds of sites across the nation where it provides care. One of the nation’s largest health systems, Englewood, Colo.-based CHI operates in 18 states and comprises 93 hospitals, including four academic medical centers and teaching hospitals: 24 critical access facilities; community health services organizations; accredited nursing colleges; home-health agencies; and other facilities that span the inpatient and outpatient continuum of care. In fiscal year 2013, CHI provided $762 million in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research.


CHI’s mission seeks to integrate patient care with research and education. Today’s grant announcement recognizes our commitment. We are delighted and honored to be part of this National Cancer Institute program.

- Kevin Lofton, chief executive officer of CHI

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