Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
10:29 AM

LVHN, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance Make Monroe County Extension Official

Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute’s membership is being extended to Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono

Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono, Monroe County’s cancer care leader, today advanced the level of cancer care available to patients right in their community by formally announcing that Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute’s membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance has been extended to Monroe County at the Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center at LVH–Pocono.

“Bringing all that the MSK Cancer Alliance has to offer to the Hughes Cancer Center, which is the region’s first and leading cancer care facility, takes the care offered in this community to yet another level,” said Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP. “The Alliance brings groundbreaking, lifesaving cancer care closer to where people live.”

Nester said patients with cancer in Monroe County will benefit from Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute’s membership in the MSK Cancer Alliance in several key ways:

  • Clinical teams from Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute quickly learn and adopt MSK standards of care into everyday practice for their patients. By keeping up to date with the latest innovations, Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute specialists make treatment decisions for their patients based on the best and most current evidence available.
  • Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute patients benefit from the diagnosis and treatment expertise of MSK doctors. Physicians from both organizations meet regularly to discuss challenging cases and identify the best treatments for patients. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute physicians also visit MSK to learn about the newest techniques and advances in care.
  • Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute patients have access to MSK clinical trials, which provide leading-edge cancer treatments under close study. Clinical trials accelerate the data-collection process so investigational treatments can be approved faster and become available to even more patients.

“The goal of the MSK Cancer 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,” said David G. Pfister, MD, Associate Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Strategic Partnerships at Memorial Sloan Kettering. “Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute has proven to be a tremendous collaborator within the MSK Cancer Alliance, and it speaks volumes about their cancer program that we now celebrate its expansion to Lehigh Valley Hospital–Pocono. We know our ongoing collaboration will provide a lasting benefit to the Monroe County community.”

MSK, the world's oldest and largest private cancer center, chose Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute to be its second Alliance member in 2015 citing its dedication to delivering high-quality, consistent cancer care, and because of the proven expertise of its physicians and medical teams. Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute became a formal member of the MSK Cancer Alliance in March of 2016 following an intensive six-month collaborative review process.

Suresh Nair, MD, Physician-in-Chief, Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, said the hospital is adding more specialty physicians in cancer services following the merger with Lehigh Valley Health Network in January 2017. Besides Nair seeing patients at LVH–Pocono, the additions include:

  • Two Medical Oncologists joining the LVH–Pocono staff:
    • Daniel Koh, MD, will start June 7.
    • Dipen Patel, MD, will start July 30.
  • Surgical Oncology consultative services were launched in April with Jeffrey Brodsky, MD, and Aaron Blackham, MD, with Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) Surgical Oncology.
  • Gynecology consultative services began in March with M. Bijoy Thomas, MD, Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, and Martin Martino, MD, Medical Director for the robotic surgery program. Both physicians are seeing patients at LVH–Pocono for office visits, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, surgical clearance and follow-up appointment,s in addition to select surgical procedures.