Saint Anne’s Hospital Regional Cancer Center and Hawthorn Oncology Center combine strengths in cancer care

Friday, May 17, 2013

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Longstanding health care leaders join efforts in bringing world-class cancer care to local communities

Fall River, MASaint Anne’s Hospital, of Fall River, the area’s most experienced provider of comprehensive community cancer care, has announced that the Hawthorn Oncology Center, an outpatient cancer center with a longstanding history in the Greater New Bedford area, has joined Saint Anne’s Hospital Regional Cancer Center in providing care to residents of southeastern New England.

Saint Anne’s Hospital Regional Cancer Center will now provide a full range of advanced, coordinated cancer care at two locations: the Hudner Oncology Center at Saint Anne’s Hospital, in Fall River, and the Hawthorn Oncology Center, at 537 Faunce Corner Road, in North Dartmouth.

Hawthorn medical oncologist John G. Niedzwicki, MD, PhD, notes that the formal consolidation with Saint Anne’s further strengthens the long relationship between medical and radiation oncology services in the area. He pointed out that the collaboration allows for enhanced patient services and provides resources to allow more patients to participate in clinical trials.  National clinical trials that explore prevention and treatment therapies have been available through Saint Anne’s Hospital since 1976.

The newly combined program “gives patients in the Greater New Bedford-Greater Fall River region coordinated access to the area’s most experienced team of cancer care providers,” said Craig Jesiolowski, FACHE, president of Saint Anne’s Hospital.

“With more than 35 years of expertise in hematology-medical oncology, radiation oncology, access to clinical trials, and a spectrum of patient and family support services,” said Jesiolowski, “Saint Anne’s program has been recognized as a model of community cancer care for more than three decades.

"Likewise," he said, "Hawthorn has provided highly regarded hematology and medical oncology care to patients for more than 25 years. By partnering, we are able to share resources, streamline referrals, and give patients from throughout the entire region convenient, ready access to the advanced, compassionate cancer care they deserve.”

Combining strengths for patients
Saint Anne’s Hospital and Hawthorn Oncology have long been leaders in cancer care in their southeastern Massachusetts communities.

Saint Anne’s launched medical oncology services and access to clinical trials in 1976 and added radiation therapy capabilities to its Fall River campus in 1979. In 1994, to meet a growing need for patients in Greater New Bedford, it expanded by adding specialized radiation oncology services at a satellite site on Hawthorn Street in North Dartmouth. Fifteen years later, Saint Anne’s relocated its Dartmouth radiation therapy services to spacious new quarters on the Hawthorn Medical Associates campus so that it could further meet patient needs and accommodate growth in state-of-the-art radiation therapy technologies.

The Hawthorn cancer program, which offers comprehensive medical oncology/hematology care, began in North Dartmouth in 1987 under the leadership of Hawthorn Medical Associates’ co-founder and medical oncologist, Dr. Thomas Zipoli, who served until his retirement in 2003. In response to patient needs, the Hawthorn cancer program has periodically expanded its capacity and facilities, most recently relocating with Saint Anne’s radiation service to the center on Faunce Corner Road in 2009.

Today, the program’s combined team of physician specialists includes medical oncologists Elliott J. Anderson, MD, and John G. Niedzwicki, MD, PhD, at the Hawthorn campus in North Dartmouth, and Nancy McKinney, MD, Bruno Pestana, MD, Peter Ward, MD, and John Yang, MD, at Saint Anne’s Hudner Oncology Center in Fall River. The radiation oncology team, which has long provided services in both locations, includes Brigham and Women’s Radiation Oncology physicians Raymond Dugal, MD, Michele Albert, MD, Jason Lee, MD, and Jacqueline Tan, MD. These physicians also hold appointments at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Collectively, the team of physician specialists and more than 100 professional and support staff bring a wide background in caring for patients with a variety of solid tumors and benign and malignant blood disorders. Some of the most common cancers include breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, lymphomas, anemias, leukemias, colon cancer, and others.

A regional approach, close to home
Nationally accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons as a comprehensive community cancer program, the newly combined Saint Anne’s Hospital’s Regional Cancer Center offers coordinated cancer services in Fall River and Dartmouth, as well as radiation oncology consultation and follow-up services in Newport, RI. Services include:

  • the area’s widest range of advanced external radiation therapy and brachytherapy technologies. These services have earned unconditional accreditation by the American College of Radiology and the American Society for Radiation Oncology.
  • hematology, chemotherapy, biotherapy, and other medical oncology therapies
  • specialized inpatient cancer care at Saint Anne’s Hospital
  • access to select national clinical trials through the National Cancer Institute and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s CancerCare
  • patient navigation and specialized nutrition, social work, spiritual care, medical interpreter, and other supportive care
  • hospice and palliative care
  • patient and family education and support programs, including specialized exercise and fitness programs
  • free health screening and related wellness activities
  • community and professional education

Saint Anne’s Hospital is a community hospital with comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, and emergency care services, serving adults and children in southeastern Massachusetts and nearby Rhode Island. Founded in 1906 by the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation, Saint Anne's Hospital is a member of Steward Health Care, the largest fully integrated community care organization in New England.

In addition to Saint Anne’s Hospital Regional Cancer Center, Saint Anne’s specialized centers and services include the Robert F. Stoico/FIRSTFED Center for Breast Care; Steward Diabetes Care Program; the Steward Centers for Pain Management; geriatric psychiatry; orthopedics; pediatrics; adult and pediatric rehabilitation; cardiovascular care; and primary care.


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