NEWARK, Del., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, selected Christiana Care Health System's Helen F. Graham Cancer Center to continue participation in its national network of community cancer centers. A member of the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) since 2007, the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center was awarded an estimated $815,497 to fund participation in the NCCCP network for the program's next two years.
The NCCCP is a collaborative network of community hospitals working to: expand cancer research, enhance access to cancer care, and improve the quality of care for cancer patients served by community hospitals in urban, suburban and rural areas, with an emphasis on underserved populations. The majority of U.S. cancer patients are diagnosed with and treated for the disease in their local communities, where they can remain closer to home rather than commute to major academic medical centers. The NCCCP network has served approximately 53,000 new cancer cases each year.
Launched in 2007 as a pilot program comprised of 16 community hospitals, the NCCCP added 14 additional sites to the network in 2010. Funding available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed the 30 NCCCP hospitals to recently compete for a program extension; 21 of them were awarded funds to continue program participation. The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center selection ensures that the NCCCP network's ongoing efforts to offer state-of-the-art coordinated care and to create research opportunities will continue to be addressed in the Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland community.
With a major focus on reducing cancer healthcare disparities, the 21 NCCCP community hospitals will continue efforts to enhance patient access to the latest, evidence-based cancer care, improve the overall quality of care, and expand research opportunities across the cancer continuum. The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center's continued participation in the program helps to support NCI's overall mission of accelerating cancer research and improving outcomes for cancer patients across the U.S.
"The NCCCP award is another validation of the tremendous success of Christiana Care's cancer program to date and it underscores the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center's role as a leader in cancer diagnosis, treatment and research," said Nicholas Petrelli, M.D., medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and the principal investigator of the program. "The NCI Community Cancer Centers Program has allowed us to reach more underserved areas, increase minority enrollment in clinical trials and receive critical funding for The Cancer Genome Atlas Project. This selection enables us to build upon these successes."