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Health Team

Duke, WakeMed expand collaboration to cancer care

Posted April 18

— Two months after WakeMed and Duke Health announced a collaboration to improve cardiovascular care in Wake County, the two rival health care systems said Tuesday they are expanding their joint efforts into cancer care.

Cancer Care Plus+ will combine Duke’s renowned cancer research and treatment program with WakeMed’s surgical oncology expertise, officials said.

"This is an exciting and important collaboration with WakeMed that we believe will greatly benefit cancer patients and their families in Wake County and neighboring communities," Dr. Michael Kastan, executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute, said in a statement. "Cancer Care Plus+ will streamline the screening and access of cancer patients in Wake County to Duke’s broad portfolio of innovative cancer clinical trials, increase multi-disciplinary team cancer capabilities and increase access to supportive care services such as hereditary and genetic counseling."

"Working together with our colleagues at Duke to streamline, enhance and expand the delivery of oncology care in Wake County is an exciting development that meets a critical need for patients, caregivers and the communities we serve," WakeMed President and Chief Executive Donald Gintzig said in a statement. "This agreement supports both WakeMed and Duke’s commitment to improving the scope, quality and value of care we offer to our patients and their families through innovative and cooperative collaborations with like-minded organizations."

As they did when they announced the Heart Care Plus+ effort in February, Duke and WakeMed officials dismissed the notion that the moves are the beginning of a merger of the two hospital systems.

"In the case of both of these collaborations with WakeMed, the physicians from both organizations have been engaged in setting the vision for what they can become in working together to enhance the quality of heart and cancer care for patients throughout Wake County," Dr. William Fulkerson Jr., executive vice president of Duke Health, said in a statement.

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