Clark Regional joins Markey affiliate network

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, August 31, 2017

Special to the Sun

Clark Regional Medical Center announced last week a new affiliation with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center.

By becoming a UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network member, Clark Regional Medical Center will now be able to offer more patients in central and eastern Kentucky access to additional specialty and subspecialty care, including clinical trials and advanced technology, while allowing them to stay closer to home for most treatments.

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“Clark Regional Medical Center is proud to join the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network,” said Robert Parker, market president of Central Kentucky [PAK1] East and chief executive officer of Clark Regional Medical Center. “Our mission is ‘Making Communities Healthier’ and this affiliation[PAK2]  is further evidence of our commitment to providing high quality care for our patients close to home.”

Clark Regional Medical Center is a 79-bed community hospital that has served the residents of east central Kentucky since 1917.

A Commission on Cancer-accredited facility, Clark Regional takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists.  This multidisciplinary approach to cancer care results in improved care for cancer patients.

The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network was created to provide high-quality cancer care closer to home for patients across the region, and to minimize the effects of cancer through prevention and education programs, exceptional clinical care, and access to research.

The affiliate network is especially important in eastern Kentucky, where cancer rates are disproportionately high.

“We see 50 percent of our patients coming from Eastern Kentucky, which has some of the highest rates of cancer in the country, particularly lung and colon cancers,” Dr. Mark Evers, director of the UK Markey Cancer Center, said. “The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network allows us to collaborate with community hospitals to provide top-notch cancer care for these patients much closer to home — saving both travel expenses and time for the patients, in addition to keeping them close to their personal support system.”

The UK Markey Cancer Center is one of only 69 medical centers in the country to earn an NCI cancer center designation.

Because of the designation, Markey patients have access to new drugs, treatment options and clinical trials offered only at NCI centers.

Moving forward, the UK Markey Cancer Center is working toward the next tier of designation — an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Currently, 45 of the 69 NCI-designated cancer centers in the country hold a comprehensive cancer center status.

The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network will play a large role in bringing that next level of cancer funding to Kentucky.

“Kentucky is home to some of the worst cancer rates in the country,” Dr. Tim Mullett, medical director of the UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network, said. “Collaborating with our affiliate hospitals across the state will enable us to make a positive impact on the dire cancer rates here in the Commonwealth.”

The UK Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network began in 2006 and comprises 17 hospitals across the state of Kentucky:

— Clark Regional Medical Center, Winchester

— Frankfort Regional Medical Center

— Georgetown Community Hospital

— Hardin Memorial Hospital, Elizabethtown

— Harlan ARH Hospital

— Harrison Memorial Hospital, Cynthiana

— Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center

— Highlands Regional Medical Center, Prestonsburg

— Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, Somerset

— Methodist Hospital, Henderson

— Norton Cancer Institute, Louisville (Norton Healthcare-UK HealthCare partnership)

— Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Ashland

— Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Mt. Vernon

— St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Morehead

— The Medical Center at Bowling Green

— TJ Samson Community Hospital, Glasgow

— Tug Valley ARH Regional Medical Center, South Williamson.