Detail

Hoag and USC announce partnership establishing new comprehensive cancer program in Orange County

Burton L. Eisenberg, M.D.

By USC Health Sciences Public Relations and Marketing staff

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian (Hoag) and Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) have announced a partnership that establishes a new comprehensive cancer and oncology services program for Orange County at Hoag Family Cancer Institute.

Hoag and USC also announce the hiring of Burton L. Eisenberg, M.D., as executive medical director of the cancer program. Eisenberg, who will be based at Hoag, comes from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, where he served as deputy director and associate director of clinical research. An academic medical center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, located in Lebanon, N.H., is a national leader in patient-centered health care. The Norris Cotton Cancer Center is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the country.

The new Hoag/USC partnership marries Orange County’s largest community cancer program with the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the nation’s premier academic cancer centers. The latest collaboration between the two leading medical centers promises to enhance patient care by significantly expanding cancer research and treatment in Orange County.

The announcement comes at a time when national health experts are calling for improved quality of care for cancer patients. Barriers to achieving excellent care for such patients remain daunting with demand for cancer care projected to skyrocket, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

The report says that by 2022 there will be 18 million cancer survivors and, by 2030, cancer incidence is expected to rise to 2.3 million new diagnoses per year. Currently about 14 million people in the U.S. have had cancer, with more than 1.6 million new cases diagnosed each year.

One of the recommendations in the report, released in September, is shifting to team-based models of care, similar to the partnership forged by Hoag and USC.

“The implications of this agreement are far-reaching,” said Jack Cox, M.D., senior vice president and chief quality officer of Hoag. “We are equally strong partners coming together to deliver cancer care in a new and different way in Orange County, with the potential to extend this new delivery model to our St. Joseph Health affiliate partners in the future.

“By teaming with USC, we will be able to expand our cutting-edge care by providing patients access to university-based clinical trials, academic training programs and quaternary care extension.”

The cancer affiliation between Hoag and USC is the latest example of strategic alignments for Hoag, which formally affiliated earlier this year with St. Joseph Health to further expand health care services in the Orange County community.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, Tenn., Eisenberg will oversee development of infrastructure and standardized practices for the new program, as well as the identification, recruitment and retention of outstanding physicians specializing in oncology and oncology related services

“The increasing complexities of cancer care delivery as well as complete care of the cancer patient require a new multidisciplinary approach,” Eisenberg said. “The Hoag/USC aligned cancer programs will provide an innovative spectrum of cancer treatment. This includes better access to new cancer therapies, development of evidence based standardized clinical pathways and informed cancer research choices that will be transforming in the years to come.”

Eisenberg’s background as chairman of the department of surgical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and deputy director at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center makes him an important asset to the new program.

“The Orange County community will benefit from a new, unparalleled level of cancer care that not only focuses on treating this disease but also on helping people thrive after treatment,” said Robert Braithwaite, president and chief executive officer of Hoag. “We are thrilled to welcome a leader with the pedigree and experience of Dr. Eisenberg to lead this program.” 

Each year, Hoag Family Cancer Institute treats more than 3,000 people newly diagnosed with cancer, making it the largest cancer program in Orange County. The new partnership with USC gives Hoag patients access to the most innovative resources available in cancer care, while providing USC the opportunity to develop the kind of expertise in community health that has made Hoag a health care leader.

"This partnership is tremendously exciting. We’re joining the best of academic medicine with the best of private practice, working together to make sure that the care close to home is the best possible, and also to ensure that the cutting-edge, advanced care and clinical trials at USC Norris are also accessible," said Tom Jackiewicz, CEO and senior vice president of USC Health. "Local is better for the patient, hands down. This partnership ensures that the best care will be delivered locally whenever possible, while also offering treatment at Keck Medicine of USC if needed."

USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center provides a full range of oncologic and hematologic services. Part of Keck Medicine of USC, the cancer center is one of the first eight comprehensive cancer centers established by the National Cancer Institute as the result of the National Cancer Act of 1971.

The new cancer and oncology services program at Hoag will include the development of a local research program and expansion of access to ongoing USC Norris clinical trials for Hoag patients will occur as the relationship progresses.

"This innovative partnership with the team at USC provides our world-class Hoag physicians access to more clinical trials, as well as additional sub-specialty expertise and resources, allowing us to provide a new level of care to our patients," said Louis VanderMolen, M.D., medical oncologist at Hoag Family Cancer Institute.

Along with Eisenberg, Hoag and USC announced the appointment of Dori Holnagel, M.B.A., as executive administrator of Hoag Family Cancer Institute. Prior to this appointment Holnagel served as executive director of Operations for Hoag Neurosciences Institute, a position she held since 2007.

The new cancer and oncology services program is the latest – and undoubtedly the most significant – in a series of successful partnerships between Hoag and USC aimed at combining the resources and talent of both respected organizations, which have been collaborating on ways to better serve the health care needs of the region since 2008.

Hoag Breast Center is the first and only breast center in Orange County to be designated as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence by the National Consortium of Breast Centers. The Hoag-USC Surgical Center for Digestive Diseases is the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary digestive diseases program of its kind in Orange County, providing a patient-centered, integrated team approach using the best in evidence-based medicine, progressive technology and innovative treatment options.

“This builds upon our current relationship with USC, both in our breast center and the surgical center, in an incredibly meaningful and tangible way for those in need of cancer care in our community,” Braithwaite said.

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