Guest Opinion: Huntsman Cancer Institute & Carson Tahoe Cancer Center Working Together To Advance Cancer ‘Moonshot’

Posted By on October 19, 2016

by John W Sweetenham, M.D., Executive Medical Director, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah · 2 min read

Earlier this year, a national “moonshot” to defeat cancer was announced at the State of the Union. I was gratified to see rural cancer care issues included in this conversation. Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah has long emphasized working to ensure that individuals who live in rural areas can access cancer screening, treatment, and prevention resources. This is challenging work, but thanks to commitment from other high-quality health care organizations, we are improving cancer care in rural communities.

Our affiliation with the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center (CTCC) is an example of this commitment. Bringing two major health systems together – University of Utah Health Care and Carson Tahoe Health (CTH) – is not easy, but here is why we do it:

CTCC is in a unique position to improve cancer care in Northern Nevada. It is Northern Nevada’s only freestanding facility providing cancer treatment, intervention, support, and after-care resources under one roof.

The cancer facilities are state-of-the-art, fostering an atmosphere of healing for individuals with cancer and their families during difficult times. CTCC has won multiple awards and is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. CTCC shares our value of ‘the patient first’, and has an outstanding reputation for excellence in cancer care.

From January to July 2016, 24 patients from CTH received cancer treatment at HCI for complex conditions, and 83 percent of those patients received ongoing care at CTCC after they returned home. We know when patients return to CTCC they will have access to outstanding cancer care, much closer to home.

HCI and CTH are providing expanded access to specialty cancer care and resources to Northern Nevada. This work enhances our understanding of how to improve cancer care in rural communities across the country.

Working together, we are improving cancer treatment and prevention, right here in Northern Nevada.