BackgroundThe Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance is a transformative initiative to improve the quality of cancer care and the lives of cancer patients by bringing evidence-based, world-class standards to community healthcare providers.
Currently, the vast majority of cancer care in the United States is delivered by community oncologists, but cancer advances can take years to be adopted in a community setting. We believe that the highest- quality care can’t be achieved through adhering to practice recommendations alone. It requires development of a robust institutional clinical research program, through which patients have access to cutting-edge clinical trials offering the newest therapeutic options. With nearly 130 years of experience, Memorial Sloan Kettering has a unique opportunity — if not an obligation — to share the knowledge and best practices it has pioneered.
The MSK Cancer Alliance will accelerate the pace of integrating the latest advances in cancer care into a community setting and will create a new model to reduce the barriers to high-quality cancer care that many patients and families face. While this approach to bringing truly state-of the-art cancer care to local communities is focused on the rapid application of new knowledge, it does not require building new facilities, adding to the cost effectiveness of this model for delivering care.
Central to the alliance is also the concept of bidirectional learning. Membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance is a meaningful designation, one that demonstrates that both parties share a willingness to collaborate and learn from each other. Typically, alliances involve the licensing of standards of care, but the MSK Cancer Alliance involves much more integrated collaboration between physicians and health professionals from both institutions, which we believe will support improved outcomes.
- To foster the rapid adoption of the newest standards of care in the community setting
- To expand access to Memorial Sloan Kettering clinical trials and cutting-edge cancer research that raises the standard of care
- To improve the quality of care and outcomes for cancer patients
- Through fostering networks of collaboration and shared learning, the MSK Cancer Alliance will enable both Memorial Sloan Kettering and Alliance members to develop strategies to improve outcomes.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering physicians and leadership will collaboratively guide each alliance member toward excellence in its cancer care and clinical research programs. This will be achieved through participation in disease management teams, on-site observations of new techniques, sharing of educational resources, quality and outcomes research, and expanded access to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s clinical trials.
- The MSK Cancer Alliance will establish clinical trials sites at specific alliance member hospitals, where clinical trials from Memorial Sloan Kettering’s robust portfolio will be provided on-site. This will dramatically improve patient access to the latest cancer advances and breakthroughs.
- Memorial Sloan Kettering and alliance members will work collaboratively to measure changes in outcomes including survival rates, quality of life, and total cost of care.
- Alliance members will provide Memorial Sloan Kettering with first-hand knowledge of how cancer advances can be effectively disseminated in a community setting, where more than 80 percent of cancer patients in the United States receive cancer care.
- Alliance members will be empowered to learn, adapt to, and adopt MSK standards of care.
In September 2013, the selection of Hartford HealthCare (HHC), a multihospital healthcare system in Connecticut, as the charter member of the newly formed MSK Cancer Alliance was announced. In the year that followed, hundreds of experts from both organizations worked together to assess HHC’s cancer resources and capabilities, and to develop plans to mitigate any gaps, with the ultimate goal of establishing a single, elevated standard of care across all five of HHC’s cancer programs, now known collectively as the Hartford Health Care Cancer Institute (HHCCI). In September, 2014, HHCCI became the first certified member of the MSK Cancer Alliance.
Among the many distinctive aspects of the collaboration is the establishment of the first MSK Alliance clinical trials site, where cancer clinical trials from MSK’s robust portfolio are already being made available to HHCCI patients.
The MSK Cancer Alliance will consist of a network of qualified members that serves cancer patients in the community setting. Potential partners would be those who serve a sizable volume of cancer patients, have clinical trials infrastructure and experience, are highly regarded overall by their community, have a commitment to outcomes research, and are committed to adopting and implementing new clinical standards of care.
In August 2015, we announced Lehigh Valley Health Network, a multisite healthcare system in eastern Pennsylvania, as the next member of the MSK Cancer Alliance. In the coming months, teams of cancer specialists from both organizations will dedicate hundreds of hours to carefully reviewing processes and clinical standards across numerous disease specialties and disciplines within the LVHN’s cancer program to ensure they are aligned with world-class standards established by MSK.
Healthcare providers interested in becoming members of the MSK Cancer Alliance should contact Mindy Sovel, Director of the MSK Cancer Alliance, at 646-888-8492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.