A five-year agreement between Allegheny Health Network and Johns Hopkins Medicine has been signed, finalizing a partnership between AHN and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Washington, DC.
“Cancer patients and their families benefit and their outcomes improve when we share knowledge and expertise because then we can accelerate knowledge transfer and treatment advances outside of communities where patients live,” said Dr. David Parda, system chair of the AHN Cancer Institute.
According to AHN, the partnership between the institutions will focus on five main areas:
- Clinical Consultation: Johns Hopkins physicians will provide consultative services including second opinions to AHN oncologists for rare cancer cases and novel therapies that may include clinical trials. Certain clinical trials may also be extended to AHN facilities, when appropriate.
- Research and Discovery: The agreement will support cancer research at Johns Hopkins and Allegheny Health Network, including basic, translational, clinical and population studies. Johns Hopkins and AHN physicians/scientists are eligible to apply for research grants focused on cancer discovery and patient care.
- Quality and Safety: The two institutions will participate in joint projects designed to improve the quality and safety of cancer care including developing and implementing standards of care and quality benchmarks for AHN disease sites, as needed.
- Education: Kimmel Cancer Center experts will provide continuing medical education opportunities for AHN physicians and allied health professionals, including monthly grand rounds and allied health presentations delivered by Johns Hopkins staff onsite at an AHN facility, AHN physician and allied health professionals having access to these programs at Johns Hopkins, and observership opportunities at Hopkins, either in person or via telemedicine technology, for AHN staff.
- Service and Patient Support: The organizations will work together to strengthen their respective supportive care programs, such as palliative care, survivorship, cancer screening and prevention, cancer pre-habilitation and rehabilitation and cancer navigation programs.
The agreement was first announced in January, so though it has only now been finalized, collaboration has already started.
“We’ve already been interacting with Hopkins and our cancer patients for second opinions, for some complex cancer cases and for phase I and II cancer clinical trial activities and also some genomic studies,” Parda said.
Allegheny Health was created in 2013 after Highmark bought the financially troubled West Penn Allegheny Health System and two other western Pennsylvania hospitals.