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Published January 17, 2006
Volume 14, Number 1


ValleyCare Health System to Open New Cancer Center
Goal to Create NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center


ValleyCare's facility at West Las Positas and Stoneridge will soon
house a new cancer center.


By Scott Eldredge
Special to NETWORK


ValleyCare Health System, a major health care provider in the Tri-Valley region, continues to expand with plans to open a new cancer center on the first floor of the ValleyCare Medical Office Plaza, its Hacienda location on the corner of W. Las Positas Blvd. and Stoneridge Drive. The center is a collaborative effort that includes Valley Medical Oncology Consultants, a team of board-certified medical oncologists and staff specializing in the treatment of cancer and blood disorders.

The center, scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2006-2007, will combine in one location diagnostic services with medical and radiation oncology treatment. Future plans include advanced telemedicine capabilities such as remote consultations and digital X-ray review.

"Every family in the Tri-Valley is affected by cancer in some way," says Marcy Feit, ValleyCare president and CEO. "Bringing all services related to cancer diagnosis and treatment into one center will be easier on these families and will be a major benefit to our community. It's just the first step in the formation of what I hope will become a regional center of excellence for cancer. I am pleased that we are collaborating with Valley Medical Oncology Consultants in this very important endeavor."

ValleyCare's goal is for the center to be affiliated with a university and become part of a Comprehensive Cancer Center accredited by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training. The NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program, which disseminates information and conducts and supports research, training, and other programs. NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers receive substantial grants to conduct research as well as provide services directly to cancer patients.

ValleyCare is leading a group that includes Valley Medical Oncology Consultants and others in creating a cancer center that meets the NCI criteria. Becoming a Comprehensive Cancer Center will allow ValleyCare to provide area cancer patients and family with easier access to a greater level of support.

"One of the real keys to cancer treatment is having access to the most current information on the full range of cancer treatments," says Dan Leong, vice president of Ancillary and Support Services. "NCI accreditation will give us access to hundreds of clinical trials conducted by NCI members." Support in this area is expected to include patient participation in clinical trials as well as access to information about ongoing studies."

NCI cancer centers must include outreach and education and provide information on advances in healthcare to both healthcare professionals and the public. ValleyCare Medical Plaza already houses the ValleyCare Health Library and Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center, which has been providing free service to the community since 1991.

The library houses one of the largest collections of information in Northern California focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. It includes databases of full-text medical journals, access to health-related websites; and books, videos, posters, models, and interactive kits that can be checked out. A medical librarian and registered nurse are available to help.

ValleyCare Health System is a private, nonprofit health care system. Since 1961 it has reinvested its profits in new facilities, equipment, and services, a practice it continues with its new cancer center. ValleyCare currently operates multiple facilities in Pleasanton, Livermore, and Tracy.

 

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