Hartford Healthcare and the world-renowned Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City are forming a new alliance that will bring cutting edge clinical trials and care to patients in Connecticut.
The alliance was announced Tuesday morning at Hartford Hospital.
"This is a new initiative that is going to be transformational," said Dr. Craig Thompson, the president of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Under the alliance, Memorial Sloan-Kettering will share its clinical and research knowledge with physicians at Hartford Hospital and the four other hospitals in the Hartford Healthcare network, Dr. Thomspon said.
They will also expand access to clinical trials run by Memorial Sloan-Kettering and make those treatments available to patients in Connecticut at their local hospitals.
"This is most important for people who don't even know they need our help, the people we know who are going to be diagnosed with cancer down the road," said Elliot Joseph, the president of Hartford Healthcare.
"What we're doing here today is enhancing their chance of survival and their opportunity for a full and complete life," said Joseph.
The goal of the alliance is to "deliver high quality care to a much wider population of patients and to more rapidly translate the advances made at large academic medical centers such as ours to patients in community settings," said Dr. Thompson.
The alliance allows Memorial Sloan-Kettering to expand the number of patients who can potentially participate in highly specialized clinical trials. Right now, many who could participate are unable to travel to New York City for the treatments.
It will also allow Hartford Healthcare physicians to collaborate with physicians at the larger facility on cases, new treatments, and training.
"I truly benefited from the relationship between these two world class institutions before this relationship was formalized," said Dr. David Eisenberg, a surgical oncologist at Hartford Hospital.
Eisenberg was diagnosed with lymphoma about one year ago. He consulted with doctors at both facilities, went through chemotherapy treatments at Hartford Hospital, and received a stem cell transplant at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.
"To think now that this relationship is open to all of our patients in our state is truly a remarkable thing," said Dr. Eisenberg, who returned to work ten weeks after his treatments ended.
The alliance will be phased in over the next six months.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering plans to expand it in the future to include six to ten hospitals or hospital networks around the country.