Scott T. Pierce, MD, medical oncology, hematology, at CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center in Lexington

CHI Saint Joseph Health can now offer expert second opinions, specialized treatment options and clinical trials to our patients, thanks to an affiliation with Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center.

We strive to continually improve our cancer services and bring new care options to patients at CHI Saint Joseph Health. In fact, we have been recognized for our quality cancer program by organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Now, we are pleased to announce a further enhancement of our program with this new affiliation.

CHI Saint Joseph Health In affiliation with Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center

“It’s difficult for patients to travel long distances for second opinions, to see a rare cancer specialist or undergo procedures that aren’t found in a community hospital,” said Jessica Croley, MD, medical director for CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care in Lexington.

We decided that finding the right health care affiliate could help us enhance and expand our capabilities in meaningful ways while providing an extra level of convenience and comfort for the communities we serve.

After months of discussions, preparations and review, CHI Saint Joseph Health is proud to announce that we have entered into an affiliation with Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center.

Expert Care Locally

Cleveland Clinic is a national leader in cancer care — it has one of the top 10 cancer programs in the country and is considered one of the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News and World Report.

“Cleveland Clinic has experts who each deal exclusively with one type of cancer,” Dr. Croley said. “When they collaborate on patient cases, they refer to specialists in that exact field of expertise to find the best treatment options.”

This thorough review is something our patients now have access to. When patients see an oncologist at CHI Saint Joseph Health, we consult with the team at Cleveland Clinic on their case. Specialists in breast cancer, brain tumors, sarcomas and other cancers respond to us with advice regarding care and treatment plans.

“This partnership gives us a way to consult with Cleveland Clinic without making patients travel out of the community,” Dr. Croley said. “Patients are still treated in our facilities, so the convenience is there even as they receive expert second opinions.”

Rapid Referrals

Sometimes, patients may require a form of treatment that cannot be provided at CHI Saint Joseph Health, such as targeted radiation treatments, minimally invasive surgical options and experimental treatment through clinical trials. In those cases, we can easily refer patients to Cleveland Clinic for the care they need.

Monty Metcalfe, MD, is part of the medical oncology – hematology team in Lexington

“Typically, when we refer patients outside of our system, it can take weeks to get them in to see a provider,” Dr. Croley said. “This partnership gives us a seamless referral process that allows for quick appointments at Cleveland Clinic.”

Access to clinical trials is especially important for patients whose cancer has not responded to standard treatment options. Instead of traveling to Cleveland Clinic to determine if they’re eligible for trials, patients can do their prescreenings at CHI Saint Joseph Health.

Enhancing Our Program

Though we are excited to give our patients access to services from Cleveland Clinic, we also saw this affiliation as an opportunity to improve our existing cancer program. Before we agreed to a formal affiliation, the Taussig Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic performed a thorough review of our cancer program and gave us recommendations to enhance our services.

The cancer care team in Lexington celebrated the affiliation announcement between CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Centers and Cleveland Clinic Cancer Care in October.

“Cleveland Clinic assessed our pharmacy, nursing, radiation, infusion, research and support services to see how our processes work,” Dr. Croley said. “They were most impressed by our patient education and support offerings. That includes the work done by our dietitians, genetic counselors, financial counselors, licensed social workers, psychosocial professionals, physical therapists and others.”

Based on advice from Cleveland Clinic, we will create short- and long-term goals for the enhancement of our cancer program to ensure patients continue to receive high standards of care.

“Cleveland Clinic is homed in on best practices and safety standards that we’re able to apply in our day-to-day patient care,” Dr. Croley explained. “Our hope is that our patients’ experiences are the same as they would be if they walked into Cleveland Clinic.”

Multiple Specialists, one Contact

Though we offer an expanded set of cancer services through our partnership with Cleveland Clinic, we want to keep things simple for patients and their loved ones. Thankfully, our new referral coordinators are available to help patients navigate their cancer care without additional hassle.

Watch the video below to see the CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care affiliation with Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center announcement.

“Instead of contacting multiple offices and specialists for their appointments, patients can rely on referral coordinators as their main point of contact,” said Dr. Croley. “Referral coordinators determine which providers patients need to see and how we can best help them. They can gather records and test results and submit them to Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion.”

To learn more about this important affiliation with Cleveland Clinic Cancer Center, call 859.313.4673.