(Chicago) – Rush University Medical Center and Swedish Covenant Hospital have announced an agreement for the two institutions to collaborate on clinical, research and academic programs to improve quality and accessibility of cancer-related programs.
Rush and Swedish Covenant will develop and share cancer treatment protocols and various indicators and benchmarks for patient outcomes to improve quality, coordination and cost effectiveness of care provided to cancer program patients. In addition, patients at Swedish Covenant will have access to the cancer subspecialists at Rush.
The new academic relationship will involve participation of physicians at Rush and Swedish Covenant in continuing medical education and the recruitment of physicians and nursing staff for the cancer program at Swedish Covenant. Patients in the cancer program will have access to investigational drugs through clinical research trials conducted by Rush. The two institutions will explore opportunities for educational programs for nurses.
The agreement was signed by both parties in November 2012. Swedish Covenant will retain full responsibility for governance, operation and management of its cancer program.
Dr. Jeffrey Cilley, a hematology/oncology specialist, was recruited by Swedish Covenant to serve as the site leader for the cancer program.
“Our affiliation with Rush University Medical Center and the Rush University Cancer Center will bring the best standards of cancer care to our community on the North side. Our patients can stay close to home and still benefit from the expertise of physicians practicing at this premier academic medical center.”
The Rush University Cancer Center comprises all of the cancer-related clinical, research and educational efforts at Rush, crossing 20 departments, divisions and sections; inpatient and outpatient areas; professional clinical activities; and the four colleges of Rush University.
“The health care industry encourages collaboration and coordination between and among health care providers to share resources and provide the very best health care available,” said Dr. Parameswaran Venugopal, a hematology oncology specialist and professor of medicine at Rush. “A collaborative, team-based approach to medicine can bring highly-specialized services to area physicians and patients who need them.”
The collaborative effort will include a tumor board, where Rush and Swedish Covenant physicians regularly meet to review specific patient cases to arrive at the best possible course of treatment. These tumor board meetings may also occur via teleconferencing between the hospitals with various cancer subspecialists in brain, bone, throat, leukemia, lung, lymphoma, myeloma, gastroenterology, and breast and other female cancers along with other cancer site specialists. Such meetings foster a more efficient, well-informed decision making process to guide patient treatment and outcomes.
“Rush has certain medical technology and advanced treatment options and expertise in cancer care that we want to make available to Swedish Covenant physicians, nurses and their patients,” said Rush’s Dr. Venugopal. “We are looking forward to working together to improve the quality, accessibility of cancer care and to improve the health status of those individuals in the community.”
Swedish Covenant Hospital is an independent non-profit hospital with 323 licensed beds serving the residents of Chicago’s north and northwestern communities for more than 120 years.
Rush is a not-for-profit academic medical center comprising Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush Health. The four colleges of Rush University are Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences, and the Graduate College.