Hugh Greene, Baptist Health's president and CEO, called the partnership a “game-changer.” He stressed in an interview that the partnership is not about marketing the MD Anderson brand, but rather about treating patients in a more multi-disciplinary fashion.
“This is not a branding exercise. It is not franchise-like. We're not just putting a badge on a coat,” Greene said. “This really is about adopting the MD Anderson model of care. We are going to transform the way that we do cancer care through multi-disciplinary, highly-coordinated care.”
MD Anderson's ability to combine oncology, psychosocial care and other disciplines into a single treatment plan was an attractive model for Baptist Health, Greene said.
“We are looking forward to establishing this partnership between MD Anderson and Baptist Health so that the patients and families of Jacksonville and surrounding areas will have greater access to our proven model of cancer treatment, care and research,” said Dr. Thomas Burke, executive vice president of MD Anderson Cancer Network, in a statement. “With Baptist Health, MD Anderson found an already-strong cancer program that is committed to enhancing its care and contributing to our mission.”
The program is expected to launch at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville in early spring of 2015, Greene said. It will eventually move into a new building on its campus at a later date.
Baptist Health, a five-hospital system with a total of 1,154 beds in North Florida and South Georgia, was in the news this summer after a whistleblower lawsuit alleged that it was overpaid by Medicare because a former chief neurologist had misdiagnosed patients. The health system, which disagreed with the claims, paid a $2.5 million settlement.
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