NCCCP Cancer Centers: The Queen's Medical Center Among Chosen Few
When cancer care becomes necessary, Hawaii residents don't have to look any further than the Queen's Cancer Center, which has become one of 14 new sites chosen by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—a part of the National Institutes of Health—to join a network of community cancer centers that offer expanded research and leading edge cancer care at community hospitals. There are now just 30 such community hospitals out of 6,000 nationwide. The program is called the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). “Patients don't need to travel elsewhere to get great cancer care,” asserted Paul Morris, MD, FACS, Chair of the Queen's Cancer Committee. “We've taken the good work we're doing here and measured ourselves against national standards. There is no greater honor…than to be chosen by the NCI to bring the newest research and best care to its community.”
Established in 2007, the NCCCP used $40 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand its number of community hospital-based sites from 16 to 30. “NCI's mission is to reduce the burden of cancer for all,” said Art Ushijima, QHS/QMC President. “The NCI estimates that 85 percent of cancer patients are diagnosed and treated within community hospitals, close to a patient's home. The NCCCP extends the NCI cancer program into local communities like ours, giving patients easier access to state-of-the-art cancer care and clinical trial opportunities.”
Patients at NCCCP hospitals have more opportunities to participate in clinical trials and access to enhanced screening, palliative care and other services. Many cancer patients cannot commute to major academic medical centers. “The NCCCP was founded on the principle that patients should not have to travel far for state-of-the-art cancer care,” said Debbie Ishihara-Wong, Director of Oncology Services.” The NCCCP is designed to create new research opportunities across the cancer continuum, from screening and treatment to follow-up care, with an emphasis on minority and underserved populations. Queen's has partnered with the Native Hawaiian Cancer Network and ‘Imi Hale to better serve the native Hawaiian community.
"The end result of the truly multidisciplinary cancer care at Queen's," said Dr. Morris, "continues to rank us above national benchmarks for quality and survival according to the National Cancer Database, which tracks cancer care data…." The Queen's Cancer Center is Hawaii's most comprehensive, up-to-date cancer facility, offering patients leading edge technologies and treatments. It is also Hawaii's largest and most comprehensive survivorship and navigation program, helping patients through diagnosis, treatment and long-term follow-up. Other services include nutrition counseling, genetic counseling and testing, support groups, social work, pain and palliative care, rehabilitation therapies, behavioral health, financial counseling, complementary and integrated medicine (e.g., acupuncture and massage) and spiritual counseling.