Gaining access to world-class cancer care just got easier for Northern Nevadans. A new alliance is bringing state-of-the-art treatment for rare and complicated cancers, expanded avenues to clinical trials, and expert second opinions to the community’s doorstep.
Carson Tahoe Health, the state’s only “gold-level” accredited cancer center, said Tuesday it’s teaming up with Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). Part of the University of Utah Health Care system based in Salt Lake City, HCI is the only top-level cancer center in the five-state Intermountain West as recognized by the National Cancer Institute.
Patients battling cancer in the area will now be able to tap into the nation’s most advanced care, offered through the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, now an affiliate of Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah.
“By providing expert care based on the same protocols and practice standards that are in use at HCI, this dynamic alliance supports our vision to change the face of cancer care in Northern Nevada,” said Ed Epperson, president and CEO of Carson Tahoe Health. “Combining our resources and expertise with the experience and educational opportunities associated with a large academic medical center creates an exceptional model of care specially designed to meet the unique needs within our community.”
Now Northern Nevadans will have access to teams of specialists that collaborate to provide patients with coordinated and comprehensive treatment plans appropriate to the individual cancer diagnoses. Patients also will now have the opportunity to be reviewed for eligibility to participate in progressive clinical trials.
The partnership also provides Carson Tahoe physicians direct access to HCI specialists for consultations about diagnoses and treatment options. Physicians will also have ongoing continuing education opportunities and access to the latest academic cancer research developments through HCI.
For patients seeking a second opinion, digital teleconferencing will allow them to discuss their case with HCI specialists who have advanced experience treating all forms of adult cancers. If a patient needs to be referred to HCI for a higher level of treatment, designated patient navigators are going to coordinate seamless care. Navigators will support patients through their courses of treatment at HCI, assisting with everything from booking rooms at the University of Utah’s Patient and Family Housing to arranging follow-ups back home when treatment is complete.
The new alliance builds on an existing two-year affiliation and collaboration between Carson Tahoe Health and University of Utah Health Care.
“Inherent in our mission as a teaching hospital is our responsibility to share clinical best practices, research advances and provide our community partners with the educational resources we’ve developed as a university,” said Dr. John Sweetenham, executive medical director at HCI. “Historically, many breakthroughs in cancer research and treatment have happened through collaboration, and we believe the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center is posed to build upon that legacy.”
The affiliation doesn’t change ownership, local control and governance, or restrict patient choice in providers.