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Looking at Dana-Farber’s new partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


They plan to build a new hospital for cancer patients in Boston. The new collaboration signals Dana-Farber is moving on from a long relationship with Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are coming together to build an adult inpatient hospital in Boston focused on cancer patients.

Laurie H. Glimcher, president and CEO of Dana-Farber, and Kevin Tabb, president and CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health, tout their plans to build a new cancer hospital in Boston. (Photos courtesy of Dana-Farber)

Laurie H. Glimcher, president and CEO of Dana-Farber, and Kevin Tabb, president and CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health, tout their plans to build a new cancer hospital in Boston. (Photos courtesy of Dana-Farber)

The new partnership also means Dana-Farber is moving on from its long relationship with Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dana-Farber’s partnership with Brigham and Women’s Hospital for inpatient and surgical care will continue through the transition, the organization said in a news release. Dana-Farber says it will likely take years before the new hospital is built, so there is no change in patient care at this time, and probably not for years to come.

In a statement, Brigham and Women’s Hospital said, “There will be no changes to the excellent care that our patients currently receive.”

Here’s a quick look at what’s happening.

Walking away

Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s have had a partnership for nearly 25 years.

Brigham and Women’s says the partnership has provided the latest in cancer treatments and therapies developed from clinical trials.

Brigham and Women’s leaders were astonished by Dana-Farber’s move, The Boston Globe reports. The news organization reported that Brigham & Women’s expected their relationship with Dana-Farber to continue.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital described the collaboration with Dana-Farber as “an exceptional partnership” offering superior surgical care, radiation therapy and diagnostic capabilities.

And Brigham and Women’s also points out that the hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, both part of Mass General Brigham, perform more cancer surgeries and get more federal money for research than any other hospitals in America.

“For over one hundred years, Brigham and Women’s Hospital has provided highly advanced cancer care, built on a foundation of biomedical research, to patients from around the world,” the hospital said in a statement.

Coming together

Last week, Dana-Farber announced its collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. It’s being dubbed The Dana-Farber Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Collaboration. The new partnership also includes Beth Israel’s Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians.

The planned cancer hospital will operate under the license of Dana-Farber, the systems said. The new facility will be built alongside existing Dana-Farber and Beth Israel facilities in the Longwood Medical Area of Boston.

Laurie H. Glimcher, president and CEO of Dana-Farber said in a statement that Beth Israel “shares our vision to create a forward-looking model of cancer care that further advances the patient and caregiver experience, expands access to value-driven care and fosters scientific discovery. Their shared vision and legacy of excellence makes them a terrific partner for us.”

“We will build the region’s first and only freestanding inpatient hospital dedicated exclusively to adult cancer patients,” Glimcher said in a video.

In an interview with WBUR Public Media in Boston, Glimcher said that other cancer centers run their own inpatient hospital units, and she says it’s time for Dana-Farber to do so.

"Our patients are sick, and they need to have the best physical environment to make them as comfortable as we can," Glimcher told WBUR. "A brand new cancer center that we are controlling will allow us to give them the very best patient care."

Beyond the hospital

Dana-Farber says the plan is to develop an oncology campus for inpatient care, outpatient treatment and research.

“The proximity to our outpatient and research facilities in Longwood supports our continued bench-to-bedside research model,” Dana-Farber says.

Kevin Tabb, president and CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health, says the Boston community deserves a new hospital focused on cancer patients and the collaboration with Dana-Farber to expand treatment and research.

“We hope to transform how we care for individuals and families touched by cancer, expand access to life-changing care and harness the power of scientific discovery and innovation,” Tabb said in a video message outlining the partnership.

Beth Israel Lahey Health says it will invest in bolstering cancer services at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the system’s other hospitals.

The systems point to rising incidences of cancer in younger adults. More Americans under the age of 50 are being diagnosed with cancer, and there are higher rates of early-onset cancer among younger women, according to a study published last month by Jama Network Open.

Dana-Farber and Beth Israel officials discuss the new partnership in this video.

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