Levine Cancer Institute Research and Administrative Headquarters Opens

Symbolizes Launch of Full Implementation of Novel, Distributed Approach to Cancer Care

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Carolinas HealthCare System's (CHS) Levine Cancer Institute announced the opening of its research and administrative headquarters on the campus of CHS's Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. By integrating and building upon CHS's network of elite cancer programs and centers, the Institute is able to provide its more than 11,000 new cancer patients annually with greater access to specialists, treatment, clinical trials and support services closer to where they live.  

While the institute will function as a series of integrated cancer programs distributing high-quality cancer care system-wide, this building will serve as its hub for communication, research and administration. It will house the technology infrastructure to more seamlessly connect physicians and care teams and share best practices and programs.

"The opening of the building is symbolic of the entire Levine Cancer Institute network being fully functioning, for the advancement of patient care across the Carolinas," said Institute President Derek Raghavan, M.D., Ph.D. "The new resources and technology this new space affords will enable us to be better connected to our partner institutions across the Carolinas to share knowledge, standard protocols and research, while offering our patients here in Charlotte a state-of-the-art place to receive their cancer care."

The Institute has recruited cancer leaders from top-ranked programs across the country. It united more than 30 oncologists already employed throughout CHS, hired two pharmacologists and one biostatistician to expand its basic science capabilities, and hired more than 80 support staff including registrars, social workers, nurses, nurse navigators, survivorship experts and a financial counselor. These experts are developing standard protocols for the treatment of many cancers to accelerate efficient, effective therapy and improve patients' access to clinical research. The Institute also developed robust patient survivorship support programs like patient navigation, integrative medicine and fertility preservation, and is piloting a broad range of programs aimed at reducing disparities and providing improved access to cancer care.

"By leveraging cancer expertise and resources from across our system, we are creating a first-of-its-kind decentralized approach to cancer care which removes the barriers that separate patients from access to breakthrough research and treatments," said Edward Kim, M.D., Chair of the Institute's Department of Solid Tumor Oncology and Investigational Therapeutics, recently recruited to the Institute from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "I am thrilled about the opportunity to implement more novel clinical research trials throughout the system to benefit the people in the Carolinas."

Edward Copelan, M.D., FACP, said, "it was this exciting venture, building a 'cancer institute without walls' and developing standard best practices to benefit patient care across the Carolinas, that attracted me to Levine Cancer Institute." Dr. Copelan began as chair of the Institute's Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders in September 2012 from a leadership role at the Cleveland Clinic's Taussig Cancer Institute.

Earlier this fall, the Institute also announced its 12 charter member institutions, the first group of CHS affiliated hospitals as part of the system's new cancer care network. Member institutions work together across the network to focus on initiatives like quality of care, technology, clinical trials, data sharing and review, patient navigation, health disparities, and community outreach. The charter member institutions are:

  • AnMed Health – Anderson, S.C.
  • Batte Cancer Center at Carolinas Medical Center (CMC)-NorthEast – Concord, N.C.
  • Blue Ridge HealthCare – Grace and Valdese Hospitals – Morganton and Valdese, N.C.
  • Carolinas Medical Center (the location of the Institute's research and administrative headquarters) – Charlotte, N.C.
  • Cleveland Regional Medical Center – Shelby, N.C.
  • CMC-Lincoln – Lincolnton, N.C.
  • CMC-Mercy – Charlotte, N.C.
  • CMC-Pineville – Charlotte, N.C.
  • CMC-University – Charlotte, N.C.
  • Edwards Cancer Center at CMC-Union – Monroe, N.C.
  • Roper St. Francis Healthcare – Roper, Bon Secours St. Francis and Roper St. Francis Mt. Pleasant Hospitals – Charleston, S.C.
  • Stanly Regional Medical Center – Albemarle, N.C.

The development of the Institute and the building was made possible by the generous $20 million gift from the Leon Levine Foundation. The building features six stories with more than 171,000 square feet of space. It also houses nine cancer clinics, teleconference space, infusion therapy, palliative care and a Phase I clinical trials unit which will support the administration of novel therapies.

To support patients' and their families' survivorship journey, the building also includes a rooftop healing garden, gift shop, patient image boutique, patient and family resource center, and class and consult rooms for art therapy, nutrition and wellness, support groups, and counseling.   

For more information, visit www.levinecancerinstitute.org.

SOURCE Carolinas HealthCare System



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