HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital announced today that it is now an affiliate of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center based in Houston, This collaboration builds on the work and clinical advancements of the cancer care experts in the Effingham area, and connects them with internationally -known leaders in cancer care.

At the affiliation ceremony, St. Anthony’s unveiled their new sign, highlighting the name of their service, “HSHS Integrated Cancer Services,” which will be used as a standard across the hospitals of the HSHS Southern Illinois Division to demonstrate the quality cancer services offered regardless of which HSHS hospital. The ceremony also included “pinning” the physicians on St. Anthony’s Medical Staff who are now certified physicians of MD Anderson Cancer Network, including Philip Dy, MD; Casey Duncan, MD; Lisa Kowalski, MD; P.Dharmadev (David) L. Nayak, MD; and Hanna Saba, MD.

St. Anthony’s collaboration with the network means local access to the pioneering evidence-based guidelines, treatment plans and best practices developed and refined over the last 76 years by the subspecialized experts at MD Anderson. These are disease-specific guidelines for cancer treatment, prevention, diagnosis, symptom management and follow-up care. Collaborations between network members and MD Anderson experts provide high quality care to patients within the communities where they live. Local physicians still care for patients at local facilities.

Theresa Rutherford, President and CEO of HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, shared, “This collaboration builds on St. Anthony’s successes with our accredited Cancer Program, encompassing our Cancer Conferences and Cancer Committee comprised of hospital staff and area physicians committed to providing advanced cancer care locally,” she said. “Affiliating with The network allows HSHS and St. Anthony’s to bring new hope to local cancer patients by providing access to treatment guidelines and best practices developed by MD Anderson while remaining close to home,” she said.

MD Anderson’s mission is to eliminate cancer not only in Texas, but across the nation and the world. The mission to end cancer drives the MD Anderson Cancer Network to reach out to like-minded health providers and elevate the level of cancer care in communities around the nation. Currently, St. Anthony’s is the 18th certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network.

Being a certified member means HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital has met rigorous review standards, set by MD Anderson Cancer Network, In the future, there will be opportunities for patients to participate in select MD Anderson clinical trials, in addition to clinical trials already offered locally.

“This new relationship combines St. Anthony’s high quality patient care with MD Anderson’s expertise and model of multidisciplinary cancer care,” said William A. Murphy, Jr., MD, chair of MD Anderson Physician’s Network board. “Becoming a member of MD Anderson Cancer Network shows St. Anthony’s commitment to providing the highest standard of cancer care to its patients. Together, we’ll ensure that more patients in Southern Illinois can now benefit from MD Anderson’s expertise and innovative approaches.”

James Dover, President and CEO of HSHS Southern Illinois Division, shared how the collaboration came about. “The HSHS Southern Illinois Division hospitals wanted an affiliation with an established and proven National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center to enhance our ability to provide state-of-the-art cancer care to patients with even more emphasis on quality and safety. In addition, we also wanted to provide patients with access to subspecialty expertise, more clinical trials, and more individualized choice of treatment,” he said. “For their part, MD Anderson recognized the progressive medical community in the Southern Illinois Division which helped pave the way towards an affiliation with the HSHS Southern Illinois Division. With compatible missions and a history of providing high-quality care, the collaboration between MD Anderson Cancer Network and HSHS Southern Illinois Division was a great fit.”

As a certified member of the network, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is utilizing MD Anderson Cancer Center’s renowned clinical standards and expertise to elevate the quality of patient care with one clear, shared mission — to end cancer.