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St. David's HealthCare to Create Austin's First Blood Cancer Program, In Collaboration with the Texas Transplant Institute, Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network and Texas Oncology

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Blood Cancer Outpatient Treatment Clinic Opened in May 
At St. David’s South Austin Medical Center

AUSTIN, Texas—St. David’s HealthCare, in affiliation with the Texas Transplant Institute at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network and Texas Oncology, announced today a collaboration that will bring new treatment options to Austin for patients with blood cancers—including bone marrow transplant services. St. David’s HealthCare is investing $11 million toward the development of a state-of-the-art treatment center for blood cancer patients.

The first phase of this new blood cancer treatment center is a new outpatient clinic at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, which opened in May. The clinic provides outpatient treatment for adult patients in the Central Texas region who have blood cancers—such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Ultimately, the affiliation will also create Austin’s first bone marrow transplant center, which is scheduled to open at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center in early 2014.

“We are pleased to fill a critical gap in Austin’s healthcare infrastructure by bringing this service to the Central Texas region through a collaboration with the Texas Transplant Institute and San Antonio’s Methodist Healthcare,” David Huffstutler, president and chief executive officer of St. David’s HealthCare, said. “Currently, patients who require bone marrow transplants must travel to other cities, including Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, to receive this level of care.”

A recognized leader in the treatment of blood cancers, the Texas Transplant Institute’s blood and marrow stem cell transplant program was established at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio in 1993. The program has performed nearly 2,000 bone marrow transplants since its inception, and it is ranked as one of the largest in the nation.

“By partnering with St. David’s HealthCare and providing the expertise and experience of the Texas Transplant Institute, we can better serve patients in Central Texas who are currently traveling to San Antonio for care,” Jaime Wesolowski, president and chief executive officer of Methodist Healthcare, said. “We are pleased to extend our services by collaborating with St. David’s HealthCare to bring the medical expertise of our highly specialized physicians to Austin patients, closer to their homes.”

During bone marrow transplantation, blood-forming stem cells from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood or peripheral blood are infused into the patient to restore the body’s ability to produce blood and immune cells. Prior to the procedure, patients receive high doses of radiation and/or chemotherapy to treat the underlying disease and prepare for the transplant. The transplant, which is similar to a blood infusion, lasts 10 minutes to three hours, depending on the quantity and type of cells that are transplanted. A patient’s own stem cells can be used during a transplant—a procedure known as an autologous transplant—or they can receive donor stem cells, known as an allogeneic transplant. Initially, the new blood cancer treatment center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center will perform autologous transplants.

“We look forward to providing exceptional clinical care for patients with blood cancers in this region by ensuring that they receive the same level of treatment currently offered in larger cities without having to leave Austin,” Carlos R. Bachier, M.D., program director of the Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Program at the Texas Transplant Institute, as well as the medical director of the new bone marrow transplant program, said. “The new center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center will allow us to bring the best practices of the Texas Transplant Institute to patients in Austin.”

The individual programs that form the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network have long been recognized as leaders in patient care and outcomes. Through its affiliation with Sarah Cannon—the global cancer enterprise of HCA (Hospital Corporation of America), which provides a full range of physician-led, patient-centric integrated cancer care services—this program is committed to the highest level of quality standards, infrastructure, training and research to provide an unparalleled experience for patients seeking treatment for blood cancers.

“The Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network was developed to increase the quality and efficiency of care for blood cancer patients,” Fred LeMaistre, M.D., vice president and physician in chief of hematology within the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network, said. “We are pleased to incorporate this new program into our exclusive network.”

Most transplant patients require hospitalization at some point during the bone marrow transplant process, although the length of the hospital stay will vary based on the type of transplantation and the patient’s condition. While the transplant itself only takes a few hours, at most, it can take several months for the complete bone marrow transition.

“We are committed to working with the cancer care community in Central Texas to offer more advanced care—such as bone marrow transplants—to patients closer to home, with the helpful support of families and friends nearby,” Laurence K. Tokaz, M.D., an oncologist at Texas Oncology and medical director of the new blood cancer program, said. “This affiliation is another example of working together to provide new, needed treatment opportunities that meet the cancer care needs of the growing Austin area.” 


St. David’s HealthCare
With more than 90 sites across Central Texas, St. David’s HealthCare includes seven of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. Known for compassionate, high-quality care, the organization has been recognized with the Texas Award for Performance Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the State of Texas based upon world-class quality measures. In 2013, two of the system’s facilities—St. David’s Medical Center and St. David’s North Austin Medical Center—were named among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters), a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. St. David’s HealthCare was also recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in 2012. Additionally, St. David’s Medical Center—which includes Heart Hospital of Austin—was named a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital for 2013. Perennially ranked as the top Austin-area employer among large companies by the Austin Business Journal’s annual “Best Places to Work” survey, St. David’s HealthCare is the third-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 7,900 employees. For more information, please visit StDavids.com.

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, located at 901 West Ben White Boulevard, is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in January 2012. St. David's South Austin Medical Center is an acute care facility with 292 beds, offering a range of complex specialties and sub-specialties, including a comprehensive and nationally recognized cardiac program, full-service maternity and newborn care with Level I and II nurseries, a thriving 24-hour emergency department, and two full-service emergency centers in the communities of Bee Cave and Bastrop. The medical center recently completed a comprehensive, $72-million renovation and expansion project. For more information, please visit StDavids.com.

Texas Transplant Institute
The Texas Transplant Institute at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital serves both adults and children from across the United States and Latin America with evidence-based therapies that give hope to patients with blood cancers and other forms of blood diseases. The adult program, housed at Methodist Hospital, is one of the largest programs in the United States – over 2,000 blood and marrow stem cell transplants have been performed since 1993. The program physicians have extensive experience performing autologous and allogeneic transplants including related, unrelated and umbilical cord blood transplants. It was the first program in North America accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT) and has remained accredited ever since.

Methodist Healthcare System – San Antonio
Methodist Healthcare System – San Antonio is the largest provider of health care in South and Central Texas with 26 facilities including nine hospitals serving 90,000 inpatients and 390,000 outpatients annually. The Methodist Healthcare team is comprised of 8,000 employees, making Methodist Healthcare the second largest private employer in San Antonio. In 2012, Methodist Healthcare was one of only two hospitals in Texas recognized by the Texas Medical Foundation with a Gold Award for Quality. Methodist Healthcare has won the National Research Foundation’s Consumer Choice Award for 13 consecutive years, more times than any other health care provider in Texas. For the past four years, Methodist Healthcare has received the “Best Hospital” Gold Award by the San Antonio Express-News’ Readers’ Choice Awards. With more than 2,700 credentialed physicians, Methodist Healthcare provides the largest array of medical services in the region including neurosurgery, cardiovascular services, oncology and women’s services. Visit www.SAHealth.com to learn more.

Texas Oncology
Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment and therapy options available to help patients achieve “More breakthroughs. More victories.”® in their fights against cancer. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern Oklahoma. Texas Breast Specialists and Texas Urology Specialists, which focus on all areas of breast and urologic care, are a part of Texas Oncology. Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. Texas Oncology participates in innovative clinical trials from Phase I through Phase IV through US Oncology Research, which has helped to develop 46 FDA approved cancer therapies. Texas Oncology is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks focused on advancing cancer care in America. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, Texas Oncology is united with more than 1,000 physicians and 10,000 cancer professionals nationwide. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health. For more information, visit www.TexasOncology.com or call 1-888-864-I CAN (4226).

Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network
With five participating sites across the United States, the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network is the second largest provider of blood and marrow transplantation (BMT). Established by Sarah Cannon, the global cancer enterprise for the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the network has conducted more than 850 transplants in 2012 and treated more than 9,000 patients to date. Through its commitment to the highest level of quality standards, infrastructure, training and research, the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer network provides an unparalleled experience for patients seeking treatment for blood cancers. For more information about the Blood Cancer Network and Sarah Cannon’s full suite of oncology services, please visit SarahCannon.com.

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