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Munson joins U-M Cancer Center Network

originally posted May 23, 2002

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Munson Healthcare has agreed to become part of the University of Michigan Cancer Center Network, a group of select hospitals and physician practices dedicated to improving cancer care.

"We are excited to join with the U-M, a program which is nationally recognized for its cancer research and treatment. It is certainly a testimonial to our program that we are able to collaborate with such a highly regarded cancer center," said Peter C. Kohler, MD, Chairman, MMC Cancer Committee. "While most patients will continue to be treated locally, this agreement will greatly enhance collaborative efforts and improve access to advanced treatment and research protocols."

This collaborative effort will give northern Michigan cancer patients access to more clinical trials, expanded treatment options, and more education about cancer. These benefits will not require a trip to Ann Arbor, but will be available in Traverse City at Munson Medical Center, the largest hospital of the MHC system, which has received recognition as one of the "Top 100 Hospitals in America" for five of the last seven years.

"Munson Healthcare sees more than 1,300 new cancer cases every year," added Kohler. "This effort should increase the number of patients who choose to participate in clinical trials through U-M, and help in prevention and advanced treatment for patients."

Specifically, the agreement will focus on several objectives, including:

  • Joint promotion of and increased coordination and participation in clinical research trials. Joining forces is expected to benefit patients by increasing the number of participants in clinical trials, which in turn, may lead to better treatment options for patients.
  • The use of standardized cancer care guidelines and the tracking of clinical outcomes.
  • Collaboration on cancer care treatments and initiatives.
  • University of Michigan educational opportunities for health care providers, patients, and consumers.

"Our agreement with Munson Healthcare means that more patients will benefit from advances in cancer treatment," said Max S. Wicha, MD, director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This will allow patients in northern Michigan to get the very latest cancer care close to home. It also gives Munson patients access to the specialized clinics of one of the top cancer care programs in the country."

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. About 1.2 million cancer cases are diagnosed annually, according to the American Cancer Society.

The U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center was established in 1986 and shortly thereafter designated a "comprehensive" center by the National Cancer Institute. Only a small number of centers in the country hold this title by achieving the highest standards in patient care, engaging in significant prevention and research activities, and developing strong community outreach programs. The U-M is among the top 10 centers nationally in grant funding for cancer research and has more than 200 clinicians and researchers who work together in multidisciplinary teams to rapidly bring the latest discoveries to nearly 30 cancer care clinics. The U-M was recently ranked 11th among the top 50 cancer centers, according to the U.S. News & World Report magazine.

For more information:

Meghan Martin
or Al Parker
Munson Healthcare
Community Relations
(231) 935-6480


Kara Gavin
U-M Health System
(734) 764-2220


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Speak with a Cancer nurse: 1-800-865-1125
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