The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today it is making an initial investment of $175 million to expand its cancer services throughout the New York metropolitan area. In establishing the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute, the health system is opening and expanding cancer treatment centers throughout Long Island, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island.
Historically, North Shore-LIJ's cancer services have been delivered by its individual hospitals, working through their full-time hematologists and oncologists, and affiliated community based physicians, who collectively treat more than 16,000 new cancer patients every year -- more than any other hospital in the metropolitan area. As part of the health system's new initiative, the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute now has signed on approximately 150 physician members throughout the New York area in 20 cancer specialties.
"Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in this country and aging baby boomers will increase the demand for cancer services," said Daniel Budman, MD, co-director of the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute, and chief of hematology/oncology at North Shore University Hospital and LIJ Medical Center. "Bringing together the tremendous talent and expertise into one group will reduce fragmentation and improve the coordination of multidisciplinary care across the continuum."
To establish a broader regional presence, the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute is investing $175 million over the next several years to open new cancer treatment centers and expand existing ones throughout the New York area.
A $67 million construction project is already underway at North Shore-LIJ's Center for Advanced Medicine (CFAM) in Lake Success, where 61,150 square feet of interior space is being redeveloped contiguous to the current Monter Cancer Center. Nearly 40,000 square feet are being added to the current 37,000-square-foot Monter Center, which has been serving North Shore University Hospital's (NSUH) oncology outpatients since 2006. It will now be the new home for the fully integrated ambulatory hematology/oncology and chemotherapy treatment services delivered by both NSUH and LIJ Medical Center.
In addition, radiation medicine and surgical, gynecologic and neuro oncology services now delivered at LIJ Medical Center and NSUH will be relocated to CFAM, where nearly 50,000 square feet of space has been set aside for three linear accelerators, a gamma knife, stereotactic radiation and brachytherapy services. Diagnostic radiology, breast imaging, uro-oncology and ambulatory surgery programs are already based at CFAM, providing a fully integrated spectrum of comprehensive cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, genetic counseling, nutritional and social work, supportive care and survivorship under one roof – all under the auspices of the Cancer Institute.
"Having all of these services available in the same building will strengthen the continuum of care and provide easy access to a full range of services, which is especially important because of the multidisciplinary approach that has become so essential for cancer patients," said Louis Potters, MD, co-director of the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute, and the health system's chair of radiation medicine.
Other investments that North Shore-LIJ is making in its Cancer Institute throughout the region include:
- A comprehensive cancer center in Bay Shore on Suffolk County's south shore that will offer imaging, radiation medicine, and medical and surgical oncology.
- The acquisition of a medical oncology practice in Greenlawn on Suffolk County's north shore.
- The upgrade of radiation therapy services at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, including the purchase of an external-beam and new high-dose radiation systems.
- The expansion of the Nalitt Institute for Cancer and Blood-Related Diseases on the campus of Staten Island University Hospital North.
"Establishing such a broad network of providers and treatment centers will meet the strong local demand for timely, seamless, comprehensive cancer care, including supportive care services. Doing so under the auspices of the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute will provide seamless integration of all essential cancer-related services throughout the health system, with easy access to hospital-based services if needed," said George Raptis, MD, the new vice president for the Oncology Network with the health system. "Additionally, the Cancer Institute's Oncology Network will provide easier access to a large portfolio of cancer clinical trials closer to home. In turn, the access to larger populations of patients at risk for and with cancer will allow us to design and conduct more novel investigator-initiated studies within the Cancer Institute."
The North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute is comprised of 12 centers of excellence focused on: brain tumors, breast cancer, cancer genetics, gastrointestinal oncology, gynecologic oncology, head and neck oncology, hematologic oncology, lung cancer, melanoma and rare skin cancer, supportive oncology and pain management, pediatric hematology/oncology, and prostate and genitourinary cancer. "Our goal is to create destination cancer centers throughout the region," said Dr. Potters.
In addition to treating 16,000 new cancer patients annually, the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute already accounts for: 11.9 percent of all medical-surgical discharges of cancer patients throughout the New York metropolitan and 15.4 percent of all oncology surgeries.