ICTR in the News: Johns Hopkins Medicine Expands Collaboration with Allegheny Health Network and Highmark
Posted by: Crystal Williams on: June 14, 2017 | Print This Page
The following article profiles work performed by ICTR researcher William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Officials at Johns Hopkins Medicine announced today an expansion of its five-year affiliation with Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and Highmark, which provide health care services and insurance to people in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. The newly expanded relationship aims to support the care of patients with rare and complex adult and pediatric cancers and some organ-transplant patients, widen the portfolio of cancer clinical trials available to AHN’s patients, facilitate participation in medical education, and collaborate on genomic sequencing and precision medicine research.
The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and AHN launched their collaboration in 2014, initially designed to provide continuing medical education, clinical trials access and physician-to-physician consulting services to AHN clinicians. Johns Hopkins also has an affiliation with AHN and Highmark to provide molecular testing for late-stage cancers.
“We are honored to be working with the oncologists at Allegheny toward our shared goal of providing the best cancer care for their patients,” says Paul Rothman, M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Additionally, we are pleased to now also be Highmark’s Preferred Referral Partner, including across Highmark’s Blue Card Network in western Pennsylvania as well as West Virginia and Delaware.” Johns Hopkins Medicine is a Blue Distinction Center for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Blue Card holders will have these enhancements and continue to be able to have direct access to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center enrolls patients in more than 400 ongoing clinical trials each year. With the new agreement, AHN patients will continue to have access to these trials, some of which may be conducted at AHN.
The expanded agreement also includes coordinated access to Johns Hopkins’ expertise for lung and pediatric bone marrow transplants. In addition, AHN/Highmark and Johns Hopkins are planning collaborative efforts to participate in Grand Rounds medical education presentations to provide clinicians with increased exposure to patients’ case studies.
The Kimmel Cancer Center and AHN also will collaborate on research projects related to genome sequencing and precision medicine, which aims to use the genetic code of cancer to guide treatment.
“We’re improving our collaboration with a health system that already has strength in cancer care,” says William G. Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. “This updated agreement will continue our efforts to move the pace of cancer care and research forward and train the next generation of cancer clinicians.”
The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center is one of the nation’s 69 cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute, and one of the first to earn that status. Research led by its faculty is among the most highly cited in cancer research and clinical care and has pioneered fields such as cancer genetics, bone marrow transplant medicine and cancer immunotherapy.
“Johns Hopkins Medicine is an organization that shares our values and vision for how integrated health care delivery and financing can be modeled to provide patients with exceptional care and better outcomes with the best value,” said David Holmberg, President and CEO, Highmark. “The unique collaboration between our organizations is already delivering on that promise for cancer patients, and we are excited about how our expanded relationship will even further advance our collective missions and greatly benefit those we serve.”
The Allegheny Health Network is home to more than 80 medical, surgical and radiation oncology physician practices, one of the state’s largest bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy programs, and the nation’s largest – and western Pennsylvania’s only – radiation oncology network accredited by both the American Society for Radiation Oncology and National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancer.
Highmark Health, which includes Highmark Health Plans and Allegheny Health Network, is a diversified health services company based in Pittsburgh that serves 34 million people across the United States through businesses in health insurance, care delivery, dental insurance, vision care and information technology. Highmark Blue Cross, Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association that serves 5.3 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia.