NCI Community Cancer Centers Program
The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital was selected by NCI in 2007 and remains the sole California participant in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Communy Cancer Centers Program, a network of community-hospital cancer centers working to provide research-based cancer care spanning the full cancer continuum – from prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship through end-of-life care. The NCCCP is a community based program designed to offer more Americans access to cancer care in their home communities through supporting broad clinical and programmatic research initiatives and support for comprehensive multidisciplinary care.
In 2010, The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital was awarded $3.1 million in stimulus funding from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to expand its cancer services and support. This allowed us to fund 12 projects that enhanced our outreach efforts in the community; improved effectiveness in managing access to care; improved access to clinical trials; improved overall quality of care, promoted assurance of high quality biospecimens for research; and expanded support for implementation of cancer electronic health records. The funding allowed for greater collaboration with various community and regional cancer organizations.
As an NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) site our charge has been to participate in a national network of community hospitals to expand cancer research and deliver the latest, most advanced cancer care to more Americans in their home communities.
The NCI established the NCCCP as recognition of the essential role that community hospitals play in the health of the American public. The NCCCP seeks to extend NCI science and patient support services to community hospitals – many of which are located in small towns, and rural and urban areas – where most patients live and get their care. Because the majority of U.S. patients are treated at community hospitals, integrating the latest scientific advances and patient support resources into the community is expected to improve cancer outcomes among diverse populations.
Since the 1970s, NCI has supported research and patient treatment programs at NCI-designated Cancer Centers, generally the largest academic research institutions located in the major U.S. cities. NCI estimates that 15 percent of U.S. cancer patients receive cancer care at these centers; the other 85 percent were initially diagnosed, and receive at least their first course of treatment, at community hospital centers.
The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment is among an elite network of hospitals offering patients the most advanced care options at every stage of cancer care – from prevention through survivorship – in one convenient, comfortable setting. Patients diagnosed with cancer receive coordinated medical, surgical, and radiation oncology services here. Our affiliation with the NCI has enabled us to offer patients expanded options for their cancer care, including:
- Increased awareness of community resources resulting in new linkages and enhanced resources for our patients.
- More options for participating in cancer clinical trials and biospecimen repository to further cancer research and help find a cure for cancer. Volunteers may benefit from trials by receiving the very latest prevention and treatment advances before they are available to the general public.
- More access to cancer navigators – a specially trained nurse, physician assistant or other expert who provides personal assistance coordinating care between treating physicians and specialists, referring to experts for financial support, transportation, records coordination, and other cancer care services, and identifying clinical trials that might be appropriate for patients.
- A commitment to multidisciplinary, evidence-based care supported by national guidelines for improved clinical outcomes and a superior patient experience.
NCI brings together basic and clinical researchers, patients, physicians, caregivers, policymakers, and others in a common cause: to reduce the worldwide burden of cancer through innovative research and the development of ever better interventions to prevent and treat cancer.
Through the NCCCP, St. Joseph Hospital is leading the way in treating cancer and bringing more people into a system of high-quality cancer care throughout Southern California. Our clinical expertise in multidisciplinary evidence-based care, cancer research, information technology and biospecimen collection and management is helping the NCI formulate best practices for cancer care both now and in the future.
Read more about The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment and its affiliation with NCCCP.