California University's health unit acquires Nevada Cancer Institute

University of California's San Diego Health System has announced having won approval to acquire the Nevada Cancer Institute, the official cancer institute of the state of Nevada, as an affiliate health care provider, for an undisclosed sum.

Tom McAfee, MD, CEO, UC San Diego Health SystemThe deal was paid for from clinical revenue generated by US San Diego's hospitals and no state funding was utilised. "All philanthropic support for NVCI will be specifically reserved for the Nevada facility and its patients," the university said.

The expansion represents a partnership between California and Nevada in offering life-saving cancer care to patients through expert diagnosis, novel treatments and clinical trials, UC San Diego said.

This is not the university's first oncology care acquisition; in February 2011, UC San Diego Health System acquired San Diego Cancer Centre. In addition, it operates a radiation oncology site, multi-specialty clinics, a comprehensive liver clinic and telemedicine clinics throughout California.

Tom McAfee, MD, interim CEO of UC San Diego Health System and dean of clinical affairs, said, ''We are proud to have Nevada Cancer Institute join UC San Diego Health System. As a world-class health system for cancer and surgical care, UC San Diego is fulfilling its mission of caring for patients locally, nationally, and around the world.''

Nevada Cancer Institute is a non-profit organisation "committed to fighting cancer by offering the best in early detection, high-quality patient care, education and prevention", UC San Diego said in its statement.

UC San Diego NVCI is a state-of-the-art, 142,000 sq. ft. facility.It added the institute has treated more than 7,000 patients since opening in 2005, and offers novel treatment strategies through clinical trials, as well as Hope Coach, a mobile mammography unit. The Institute is accredited by The Joint Commission, and has earned the organization's Gold Seal of Approval for quality and safety in health care facilities.

''In light of health care reform, innovative partnerships between states and their health systems will be key to increasing access to specialized care while managing health care costs,'' said McAfee. ''Both Stanford University and Cleveland Clinic have pursued this strategy to care for neurological patients outside of their local areas. UC San Diego Health System is advancing this approach for the full spectrum of cancers, a strength of our clinical enterprise.''

Plans for UC San Diego NVCI include the recruitment of medical and surgical oncologists, as well as beginning a national search for a physician-scientist to serve as director of the institute. Insight Oncology, a management services organization, will assist with the integration of the two organizations and provide operational oversight of the flagship facility.

UC San Diego NVCIUC San Diego NVCI"Nevada patients will continue to see their current physician, now with the advantage of potentially qualifying for a wider range of clinical trials. UC San Diego NVCI expects to partner with the local medical community and develop collaborations that best serve the needs of local doctors and their patients," tha statement added.

UC San Diego Health System comprises UC San Diego Medical Center, UC San Diego Thornton Hospital, Moores Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Center, and Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center in La Jolla, as well as other primary and specialty practices of UC San Diego Medical Group. UC San Diego Moores Cancer Centre has nearly 350 medical and radiation oncologists, cancer surgeons, and researchers. It is one of only 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the the US.

It plans to commence work on the Jacobs Medical Centre, a state-of-the-art, 10-story facility  that will house four hospitals: the existing Thornton Hospital, the Hospital for Cancer Care, Hospital for Women and Infants, and Hospital for Advanced Surgery during 2012. The specialised centre will offer 245 beds and 14 operating rooms including a 4-OR intraoperative imaging suite.