By Rosemary Horvath
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and the McLaren Health Care System have created Michigan’s largest cancer research and provider network.
“This is exciting news for our Center and community,” acknowledged Nicole A. Sanders, spokesperson for McLaren Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant.
“With this partnership, our staff and physicians at the Norval K. Morey Cancer Center will now have access to share medical expertise with one of the nation’s leading cancer centers,” Sanders said.
Patients diagnosed with all forms of cancer will have expanded access to quality cancer care across the state. There will be joint sharing of medical expertise and quality improvements between physicians and cancer researchers, according to printed material Sanders made available.
An agreement signed Oct. 30 “created the largest cancer research and provider network in Michigan and expands access to advanced cancer care in our community,” she said.
Justin Klamerus, MD, president and medical director of McLaren Cancer Institute, and Gerold Bepler, MD, PhD, Karmanos President and Chief Executive Officer formally made the announcement in Mount Pleasant last week.
The merger is expected to be completed by next fall, they said.
The Karmanos Institute will remain anchored in midtown Detroit and will continue its relationships with Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center. It is one of 41 national cancer institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. It conducts more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials. Its long-term partnership with the Wayne State University School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care.
The McLaren clinically integrated health delivery system has 10 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, the state’s only proton therapy center, the state’s largest network of cancer centers and providers and has a cancer care delivery network in 58 percent of the state’s 83 counties.
Under the terms of the agreement, McLaren will provide a substantial capital investment over a multi-year period to assist with capital upgrades at Karmanos facilities and to fund clinical trials, basic and translational research programs.
Both the Karmanos institute and the cancer center will retain their names and remain as separate legal entities, maintaining their assets and reporting to their existing respective boards of directors.
McLaren Cancer Institute will be known as the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and cancer clinical trails program will be merged into a single clinical trials office.