Norwalk Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) today announced MSK Physicians at Norwalk Hospital, a new cancer care collaboration that will integrate MSK medical and radiation oncologists and care practices with the existing cancer program at the C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital.
For the first time, Memorial Sloan Kettering doctors will be leading cancer services within another hospital’s cancer program outside of New York State. This is a unique model of collaboration through which Norwalk Hospital’s current team of oncologists, nurses, surgeons, and pathologists will be practicing alongside MSK doctors.
The innovative relationship between the esteemed cancer program at Norwalk Hospital and renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering will give residents of Fairfield County accelerated access to the newest cancer treatment options in the comfort of their local community setting. Patients treated at Norwalk Hospital will remain Norwalk Hospital patients; additionally they will have access to MSK for more complex cases and hundreds of clinical trials.
As part of this collaboration, three Memorial Sloan Kettering experts have joined the Norwalk Hospital staff and will lead the medical oncology, radiation therapy, and medical physics cancer services at Norwalk Hospital. All six of Norwalk Hospital’s current medical and radiation oncologists have also joined MSK’s medical staff. These oncologists are well-known for their expertise in breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, and gynecologic cancer care. With support from the new relationship with Memorial Sloan Kettering, they will now expand and deepen opportunities to treat a greater range of cancers. They will participate in MSK disease management teams and work closely with their MSK colleagues to share perspectives and best practices, all with the goal of providing cancer care tailored to the unique needs of each patient.
“Even though the majority of cancer care in the United States is delivered in the community, cancer care advances can sometimes take years to reach patients there,” explained Memorial Sloan Kettering medical oncologist Linda T. Vahdat, MD, MBA, the new Chief of Medical Oncology and Clinical Director of Cancer Services at Norwalk Hospital. “MSK Physicians at Norwalk Hospital aims to bridge this gap and ensure the best outcomes for Norwalk Hospital’s patients by bringing leading medical and radiation oncology experts to Norwalk Hospital, implementing Memorial Sloan Kettering’s clinical practice in medical oncology and radiation therapy, and maintaining an environment of consistent cancer care.”
Dr. Vahdat further noted that a cancer diagnosis is often life changing for patients and their families, and many patients prefer to be treated close to home for convenience and familiarity. “Memorial Sloan Kettering and Norwalk Hospital’s relationship means that the 700 patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer each year at Norwalk Hospital can receive care at a location they already know and trust and still access the best drug- and radiation-based treatment options for their disease,” she said.
Dr. Vahdat will lead the comprehensive cancer program at Norwalk Hospital, including medical oncology. The radiation therapy practice will be led by Memorial Sloan Kettering radiation oncologist Daniel Shasha, MD. MSK’s Hsiang-Chi (Gary) Kuo, PhD, will oversee medical physics, essential for delivering precise radiation therapy. Drs. Vahdat and Shasha will provide full-time patient care on-site at Norwalk Hospital.
“We are very excited to enhance our cancer care program by having our exceptional oncologists formally collaborate with Memorial Sloan Kettering to provide the Fairfield County community access to a world-class team of physicians specializing in chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy — right here at Norwalk Hospital,” shared Michael Daglio, President of Norwalk Hospital.
“Part of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s mission is to improve cancer care everywhere, not just within our walls, and to bring high-quality, personalized treatments to patients in their own communities,” said Richard R. Barakat, MD, Director of MSK’s Regional Care Network. “We expect Memorial Sloan Kettering’s new relationship with Norwalk Hospital will help do exactly that for residents of Fairfield County.”