MD Anderson Cancer Network® is benefiting patients and furthering the mission to end cancer not only through clinical programs, but also with collaborations that advance education, prevention and health policy.
Just as the network is growing and evolving, new outreach opportunities are emerging to serve patients and elevate the standard of care in communities across the nation. MD Anderson’s cancer prevention and control platform, a component of the institution’s Moon Shots Program™, is making the most of the natural fit with network members, many of which are large hospitals or hospital systems located across the nation.
“Our relationships with network members have matured, and we are now broadening and deepening the reach and impact through cancer control initiatives and policy collaborations within their health systems and local communities, ” says Michael T. Walsh Jr., executive director of cancer prevention and control within the Moon Shots Program. “We are learning together about how to successfully advance our shared mission, as well as helping to level the playing field with programs that directly address quality of care, prevention and practice in a community.”
Alongside a suite of quality improvement initiatives targeting clinical achievements in cancer control standards of care, MD Anderson teams up with network members such as MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, a fully operational and clinically integrated partner located in Camden, New Jersey. The cancer center shared information with lawmakers in that state debating legislation that ultimately raised the minimum age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old. With guidance from MD Anderson, which served as a clinical and scientific resource for a statewide coalition on the same issue in Texas, Cooper provided its expertise on teen smoking and the risks of tobacco to a grassroots and bipartisan legislative effort to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco by three years. In July 2017, then-Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that made New Jersey the third state in which minimum legal sale age of tobacco products was raised to 21, an important public health policy measure.
“Cooper was pleased to join with our partner, MD Anderson, in this effort to raise the purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 as one way to prevent the devastating, long-term health effects often experienced by those who begin smoking or using tobacco when they are young,” says Kevin O’Dowd, senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Cooper University Health Care.
Just a few months earlier, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin approved a bill prohibiting the use of ultraviolet (UV) tanning beds or other devices by those under 18. In 2015, MD Anderson collaborated with certified member St. John’s Health System, now part of Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, to promote skin cancer prevention in a public policy forum in Tulsa.
“Based on our successful collaborations with network members on a variety of initiatives, we want to continue to look for ways to improve public health beyond the walls of the clinic,” says Mark Moreno, vice president for Government Relations and co-leader of the cancer prevention and control platform. “The members of the network are natural teammates in this effort, given our shared mission to end cancer.”
Teaming with others to make quality care more accessible
MD Anderson Cancer Network® advances the institution’s mission of eliminating cancer by collaborating with community hospitals and health systems to improve the quality of care nationwide.
The network provides expertise ranging from quality assurance and best practices to full clinical integration to four membership types.
MD Anderson is the nation’s leading cancer center, and members benefit from the institution’s unparalleled commitment to cancer care, research, education and prevention, as well as access to evidence-based treatment protocols and its unique multidisciplinary approach to treating patients.
Network by the numbers
- 17 Certified members in 14 states
- 7 Partners in 5 states
- 3 Associates in 3 countries
- 2 Affiliates in 2 countries
- More than 100 million people now have access to an MD Anderson location
- More than 52% of new cancer patients in the U.S. have access to a partner or certified Network member