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Augusta Health Cancer Center Now a Full Program Development Affiliate with the Duke Oncology Network

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Augusta Health Cancer Center has entered into a new agreement with Duke Medicine to become a full Program Development Affiliate within the Duke Oncology Network. Previously a Duke Oncology Network Research Affiliate, the Augusta Health Cancer Center's expanded affiliation will strengthen the clinical relationships between the care providers in Augusta County and the faculty and staff at Duke.

"We began working with Duke Medicine as a Research Affiliate in April, and have been impressed with the progress we've made to bring the expertise of Duke's clinical research and cancer treatment protocols to our community," said Karen Clark, Vice President of Professional Services at Augusta Health. "We are inspired by their vision to bring state-of-the-art, nationally ranked cancer care into local communities through the Duke Oncology Network. Their specialized knowledge in research, clinical practice, program development and continuing medical education leads to improved cancer care in communities all over the Southeast. This Program Development Affiliation allows us to provide our patients with high quality care while remaining a community-owned hospital."

Duke Medicine provides new cancer education initiatives for patients in their home communities and provides patients access to clinical research and cancer treatment protocols for a variety of new cancer treatments. Last year, at 23 sites in six states, almost 16,000 new cancer patients were seen and had access to the services of the Duke Oncology Network.

"There will be several benefits for our patients and community from this affiliation," added Clark. These benefits include:

  • Access to new cancer treatments and research—Duke Medicine has extensive research and educational capabilities, providing Augusta Health Cancer Center providers and clinicians with access to new procedures and cancer treatment protocols;
  • Expert care, close to home—This affiliation brings residents of Augusta County the latest treatments advances, close to home at the Augusta Health Cancer Center;
  • Access to clinical trials—Through this relationship, Augusta Health Cancer Center patients have easy access to all cancer research programs sponsored by Duke here in our community;
  • Assurance of high-quality care—The affiliation includes protocols and standards of care developed by Duke Medicine, maintaining and enhancing the high quality of care already delivered at the Augusta Health Cancer Center. The affiliation also provides continuing education and special training opportunities for all our physicians, nurses, technicians and pharmacists to ensure Augusta Health's services remain among the best for a community hospital.

The Duke Cancer Institute was one of the original eight cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Act in 1971, and received National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1973. There are no NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Virginia. The 2011 ranking of the nation's hospitals by U.S.News & World Report has rated Duke University Medical Center as the #11 cancer program in the nation and the top cancer program in the Southeast.

The Duke Oncology Network is a patient-centered team of Duke physicians, researchers, educators and staff devoted to cancer care. Their goal is to bring national standards of cancer care and research into local communities.

Augusta Health is an independent, nonprofit community hospital with a mission to promote the health and well-being of our community through access to excellent care. In 2011, Augusta Health is the only hospital in Virginia to be recognized as a 100 Top Hospital by Thomson Reuters, receive both the Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety Awards from HealthGrades, and be named a finalist for the Foster G. McGaw Prize from the American Hospital Association for community service. For more information about Augusta Health, its programs or its services, please contact Public Relations at 540.245.7329 or visit our website, www.augustahealth.com.