Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono will soon be part of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, enabling patients to have access to experts and clinical trials without having to leave Monroe County.
Although Lehigh Valley Health Network has been part of the MSK Cancer Alliance since 2016, the program was only at LVH-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township and LVH-Muhlenberg in Bethlehem, Lehigh County.
Details are still being finalized, but the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute plans to extend the Sloan Kettering program to the Dale & Frances Hughes Cancer Center at LVH-Pocono beginning in June.
Dr. Suresh Nair, physician-in-chief, Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, said cancer patients in Monroe County being treated at LVH-Pocono will now have access to all of the institute’s support services, expert providers, including those at Sloan Kettering, and advanced technology without having to leave the county.
Patients will have access to Sloan Kettering’s clinical trials at LVH-Pocono starting in 2019, instead of having to travel to LVH hospitals in Lehigh County where they are currently available.
Dr. David G. Pfister, associate deputy physician-in-chief for strategic partnerships at MSK, stressed that the goal of the alliance is to openly share knowledge and quickly integrate cancer care advances and cutting-edge clinical trials “into the community setting so patients get the care they need when they need it most while staying close to home.”
LVH-Pocono has added more specialty physicians in cancer services since the merger of the former Pocono Medical Center with LVHN in January 2017.