Mercy Medical Center and UCSF collaborate to improve cancer care

By Elizabeth Fernandez on June 26, 2009

Mercy Medical Center Redding

RELEASED JOINTLY BY MERCY MEDICAL CENTER AND UCSF MEDICAL CENTER

Mercy Medical Center Redding in Redding, Calif., and UCSF Medical Center have signed a letter of intent formalizing a collaboration that aims to improve cancer-related care for Mercy’s patient population in the far northern region of California.

Services provided through the collaboration will capitalize on the strengths of UCSF’s sub-specialty clinical expertise and top-notch cancer research programs combined with Mercy’s community resources and Medical Staff expertise. The overriding focus of the collaboration is to provide excellent cancer care close to home, according to the medical center executive officers Rick Barnett of Mercy and Mark Laret of UCSF.

The goal of the collaboration is to increase cancer disease prevention and improve access to high quality, evidence-based care throughout Mercy’s service area, they said.

Under the terms of the letter of intent, the two organizations have committed to an initial partnership of five years.

Mercy Medical Center (MMCR) is a 273-bed community hospital affiliated with Catholic Healthcare West. Located 210 miles northeast of San Francisco, Mercy is the regional referral center in far Northern California and is designated as the area’s trauma center. It offers a broad array of advanced medical, surgical and special services. It is part of CHW North State, which also includes St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff, Calif., and Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta in Mt. Shasta, Calif.

“While Mercy can already offer a broad spectrum of community-based cancer treatment, there are generally few to no sub-specialty cancer services available, making the new collaboration with UCSF particularly valuable,” said Barnett, MMCR President. The 630-bed UCSF Medical Center is Northern California’s highest volume provider of some of the most advanced patient care in the U.S. administered through the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the largest clinical and research cancer programs in the country.

According to Barnett, the collaborative efforts between the two organizations will help provide patients with the best medical care close to home, while encouraging individuals to seek specialty treatment at UCSF should they need highly advanced care that is not available locally.

“Our relationship with UCSF marks another step in advancing and making accessible a higher level of cancer care to those in our region living with cancer. It is our expressed hope to continually collaborate with those who can help bring ‘best in class’ medicine to our regional community,” Barnett said.

In the first phase of the agreement, the two organizations will set up an express referral line from Mercy to UCSF in order to expedite the referral process for patients in need of specialty care who may be best treated at UCSF.