Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Lifespan—Rhode Island’s first health system—leadership have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a partnership that will advance cancer treatment and expand research. The details will be finalized early next year.
“Over the past 6 months, our staff members have been meeting to learn more about our respective organizations’ strengths and to identify priorities for a partnership that will ensure the best cancer care is available for those in our community,” said Timothy Babineau, MD, President and CEO of Lifespan. “We are proud to be building a partnership with one of the leading cancer centers in the United States.”
“We are excited about the possibilities offered by working closely with Lifespan,” said Edward J. Benz, Jr, MD, President and CEO of Dana-Farber. “Our mission is to help develop new and more effective therapies and to ensure that they reach as many people as possible. That can only be done by partnering with selected, high-quality collaborators, such as Lifespan.”
The partnership will focus on five areas: genomics and precision medicine; clinical trials; value-based care and cancer care delivery innovation; shared-care models; and cancer workforce development. As the planning moves forward, the two organizations are already collaborating on a multisite grant application to the National Human Genome Research Institute to study the clinical utility of genomics information.
Lifespan’s Comprehensive Cancer Center patients will continue to receive excellent cancer care in Rhode Island, but patients with rare and more complex cancers will benefit from seamless referrals and coordination of care at Dana-Farber. “The partnership will allow Lifespan to access the outstanding faculty, research resources, and programs of Dana-Farber to benefit patients in Rhode Island,” said Dr. Babineau. Aiding in the organizations’ partnership is a common cancer-specific electronic health record system, the Epic Beacon platform, which will facilitate coordination of care, and both organizations will be using the same OnCore clinical trials management system.
“This is an exciting opportunity to create a meaningful and impactful partnership,” said David E. Wazer, MD, Director of the Lifespan Comprehensive Cancer Center. “More can be accomplished when strong organizations work together on joint research projects, the development of innovative new treatments, and ensuring access to the best care for our entire community.” ■