Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center Announce Fox Chase Network Partnership

Jun 23, 1998, 01:00 ET from Fox Chase Cancer Center

    POTTSTOWN, Pa., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Pottstown Memorial Medical Center
 will enhance their oncology program to include access to cutting-edge cancer
 research by affiliating with Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, hospital
 officials announced yesterday at a news conference held at PMMC.
     The affiliation creating the Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center
 establishes PMMC as a member of Fox Chase Network.  Fox Chase Network is a
 select group of 19 community hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey working
 cooperatively with Fox Chase Cancer Center to provide the latest in cancer
 prevention, diagnosis and treatment to people in their own communities.
     "Pottstown Memorial Medical Center has a tradition of providing excellent
 care to people in Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties," said John Buckley,
 president and chief executive officer.  "The affiliation with Fox Chase Cancer
 Center can only enhance our cancer services by enabling us to offer our
 patients access to the latest in cancer prevention, research and treatment.
 The leadership role we have taken in developing this relationship will bring
 the highest quality cancer care to people of this region."
     "By participating in joint clinical studies, Pottstown Memorial and other
 Fox Chase Network hospitals can help Fox Chase physicians build on the
 foundation of cancer research and translate our findings more quickly into
 treatment advances that benefit patients," said Dr. Paul F. Engstrom, medical
 director of Fox Chase Network and senior vice president of population science
 at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
     According to Dr. Patrick Colarusso, medical director of Pottstown Memorial
 Regional Cancer Center, patients often face a disturbing dilemma as cancer
 treatment becomes more complex:  the most advanced therapies may be available
 only at comprehensive cancer centers located far from home.
     "Through Fox Chase Cancer Center, Pottstown Memorial physicians can offer
 their patients access to more than 100 investigational treatment protocols,
 including the latest chemoprevention studies, that otherwise would not be
 available," Colarusso pointed out.
     These research protocols, also known as clinical trials, are state-of-the-
 art studies using drugs, radiation, surgery or other therapies.  There are
 many kinds of trials, ranging from diagnosis to ways to prevent cancer.
 Clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute are available only
 through certain approved research centers and their affiliates, such as PMMC.
     PMMC also will have ties to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
 through its affiliation with Fox Chase, an NCCN founding member, Engstrom
     "The NCCN is a national alliance of 17 of the nation's leading cancer
 centers including Fox Chase, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, City of
 Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., and St. Jude Children's
 Research Hospital in Memphis to develop and institute standards, guidelines
 and systems assuring high quality, cost-effective cancer care," Engstrom
     NCCN centers offer services ranging from cancer prevention and screening
 to the very latest in cancer treatment.  Patients have access to these centers
 through national managed care contracts between NCCN and self-insured
 employers and existing managed cancer networks.
     The mission of the NCCN includes developing practice standards; promoting
 cost containment and quality-assurance programs; advocating the highest
 quality cancer care by educating the consumer, the payer and the provider
 about the role of research-based cancer centers in the care, treatment and
 cure of cancer patients; and promoting cancer prevention, early diagnosis and
 screening programs.
     Pottstown Memorial Medical Center is a 295-bed, non-profit, community
 hospital located in western Montgomery County.  PMMC's Medical Staff includes
 over 250 physicians and offers specialists in over 30 clinical areas.  A full-
 range of services is offered including cancer, emergency care,
 medical/surgical care, progressive care, and many specialty care centers
 including maternity & women's health, transitional care, cardiac, psychiatric,
 renal care, cancer, home care, occupational medicine, work recovery, and
 community health education and outreach.  PMMC is owned by Pottstown
 Healthcare Corporation (PHC) which also owns Coventry, Berks and Limerick
 Family Care as well as Coventry Pediatrics, and the Pottstown Scanning and
 Treatment Center.
     As an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, Fox Chase Cancer
 Center's activities include basic and clinical research; prevention, detection
 and treatment of cancer; and community outreach programs.  Also based at Fox
 Chase is the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service, a toll-
 free telephone service providing cancer information to people in New Jersey,
 Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania.
     CONTACT:  Debra Bennis, Manager, Community Relations & Marketing of
 Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, 610-327-7464, or Julia Goplerud of Fox
 Chase Cancer Center, 215-728-3656.

SOURCE Fox Chase Cancer Center