By Allison Perry
Kentucky faces some of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the nation, but Methodist Hospital in Western Kentucky is stepping up the fight against cancer. The Methodist Hospital organization in Henderson, Ky., has announced a new affiliation with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.
Methodist Hospital CEO Bruce Begley said the announcement meant great things for their patients.
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network was created to provide high-quality cancer care closer to home for patients across the region, and to minimize the effects of cancer through prevention and education programs, exceptional clinical care, and access to research.
Methodist Hospital in Henderson is a 192-bed acute care facility and is just one facet of the Methodist Hospital Healthcare system. Other facilities serving the area include
Methodist Hospital Union County, a critical access hospital in nearby Morganfield, Ky., and 19 outpatient physician offices with 47 providers over a four-county service area.
By becoming a UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate, Methodist Hospital is in keeping with the organization’s mission to provide safe, compassionate, high quality, and cost-effective services to the communities served. The Methodist Hospital Healthcare system will now be able to offer their patients access to additional specialty and subspecialty physicians and care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay in western Kentucky for most treatments.
The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network supports UK HealthCare’s overall mission of ensuring no Kentuckian will have to leave the state to get access to top-of-the-line health care.
Markey is one of only 68 medical centers in the country to earn an NCI cancer center designation. Because of the designation, Markey patients have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.
Moving forward, the Markey Cancer Center is working toward the next tier of designation – an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Currently, 41 of the 68 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country hold a comprehensive cancer center status. The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network will play a large role in bringing that next level of cancer funding to Kentucky.
The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network began in 2006 and comprises 12 hospitals across the state of Kentucky:
- Frankfort Regional Medical Center
- Georgetown Community Hospital
- Hardin Memorial Hospital, Elizabethtown
- Harlan ARH Hospital
- Harrison Memorial Hospital, Cynthiana
- Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center
- Methodist Hospital, Henderson
- Norton Cancer Institute, Louisville (Norton Healthcare-UK HealthCare partnership)
- Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Ashland
- Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mt. Vernon
- St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Morehead
- Williamson ARH Hospital
Evaluations are under way for several other hospitals, including two more outside the state of Kentucky, extending Markey’s reach and establishing it as the destination cancer center for the region.