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Christ, UK Team Up for Cancer Fight in Northern Kentucky

A new partnership Christ Hospital and the University of Kentucky will provide cancer patients with more treatment options and allow advanced education and research for both organizations.

A joint announcement was made Thursday morning at the Christ Hospital Outpatient Center in Ft. Wright.

“We look forward to expanding healthcare choices for patients with cancer with this affiliation,” said Mike Keating, president and CEO of The Christ Hospital Health Network. “Our cancer experts will work closely with their colleagues at the UK Markey Cancer Center to advance high-quality care, with a focus on exceptional outcomes, affordable care and the finest patient and family experiences.”

“Our world-renowned physicians from the best educational institutions in the country, are critical, driving factors in our recognition, including high performing in our region by U.S. News & World Report," said Dr. Brian Mannion, medical director of oncology services at The Christ Hospital Health Network. "UK has a long-standing history as Kentucky’s top academic medical center. This affiliation will allow us to do even more for our cancer patients, particularly as we expand access to needed cancer services in Northern Kentucky.” 

The Christ Hospital Health Network averages 30 active studies, from phase I through phase IV, and is affiliated with leading national research institutions, individuals, groups and corporations.

Through the newly announced partnership, patients will now have access to significant clinical cancer trials in Northern Kentucky through Markey’s designation as a National Cancer Institute cancer center, one of only 68 cancer centers in the country and the only one in Kentucky.

Patients will also have access to bone marrow transplants, only one of two programs in the state of Kentucky, and innovative cancer treatments such as through the Edge, which The Christ Hospital Health Network recently acquired. The Edge delivers the most advanced, precision-targeted radiation therapy for patients with brain and body cancers. 

“We are providing choice to our patients and their families with cancer without the stress and inconvenience of having to travel to other parts of the country,” Keating said. “Providing access to quality healthcare services where people live and work is at the heart of The Christ Hospital Health Network’s mission and is one of the key reasons we have been recognized by local consumers as the Most Preferred provider in the region for 19 consecutive years.”

"The burden of cancer in this area is huge, and reducing its impact requires collaboration and teamwork from many excellent community hospitals in the region," said Dr. Tim Mullett, director of Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network. "Bringing The Christ Hospital Health Network into the Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network is another major step toward improving cancer care in Kentucky and beyond." 

The affiliation provides many benefits to patients and physicians, including:

  • More patient choice and convenient access
  • New and innovative cancer treatments
  • Cutting-edge clinical trials Consultations with specialists and subspecialists
  • Multidisciplinary cancer conferences, where physicians share knowledge and experience, explore new approaches to treatment and discussing local patient cases
  • Program support in medical oncology/hematology, pathology, molecular diagnostics, pharmacy, nursing and dietetics
  • Access to the latest education and training for physicians, nurses and other caregivers
  • Support for community outreach and education activities.

The Christ Hospital Health Network is the first affiliate hospital from outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network began in 2006 and now comprises 13 hospitals.

The press conference on Thursday included UK basketball legend Jack "Goose" Givens, a member of the program's 1978 national championship team. "You have to have talent & step out of your comfort zone to make a great team," Givens said. "That's what we are doing here today"

-Staff report