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St. Joseph’s, UA in talks for central Phoenix cancer clinic

St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix

[Source: Ken Alltucker, Arizona Republic] — The University of Arizona is pursuing negotiations with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center that could bring a branch of the Arizona Cancer Center to central Phoenix.  UA representatives envision a clinic, perhaps at or near the hospital’s campus, that would include cutting-edge cancer treatments for patients as well as research opportunities for students, faculty and physicians at UA’s medical school in Phoenix.

Both sides confirm that they have been discussing a partnership for months, but many questions remain unanswered about a possible deal.  “We are continuing discussion with (St. Joseph’s) about co-locating a center,” said William Crist, vice president for health affairs for UA’s College of Medicine.  “It is not a done deal.  It is discussions we’ve been having.”

Neither UA officials nor representatives of St. Joseph’s would publicly reveal estimates of how much such a new cancer center would cost or proposed locations for the center.  Officials hope to narrow down choices on a location within a matter of weeks.  Further complicating the potential for quick action on a new cancer center are the state’s budget woes, which could make it difficult for the university to fund a Phoenix branch of the cancer center.

UA’s Arizona Cancer Center, which is based in Tucson, has long coveted a Phoenix location.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Developer floats cancer center in suburbs, not downtown Phoenix

[Source: Jahna Berry and Edythe Jensen, Arizona Republic] — An influential developer wants the University of Arizona to consider putting a sought-after cancer center in a suburb, not downtown Phoenix.  Officials from UA, which would oversee the future cancer center, have downplayed the developer’s queries in Chandler and Surprise.  Patients need a center in a sprawling, resort-like setting, and Phoenix doesn’t have enough room for that, said the developer, Tom Hornaday.   But Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon isn’t taking any chances and wants UA to reaffirm its commitment to build the center in his city.  Gordon has reasons to be worried:

  • Last year, Phoenix lost to Goodyear on a $70 million cancer center that was to be built near Loop 101 and Thomas Road.  This year, talks collapsed for a Banner teaching hospital on UA’s fledgling downtown Phoenix medical-school campus.
  • Chandler and Surprise are jockeying to be players in the state’s bioscience scene.
  • There are new Valley political players, and leaders at UA, who were not part of the early planning for Phoenix’s 28-acre biomedical hub.

Eventually the area, bounded by Garfield, Monroe, Fifth and Seventh streets, would share a hospital, researchers, and the three state universities.  Already, UA’s medical school and Translational Genomics Research Institute and a unit from the ASU engineering college have taken root there.  State lawmakers recently approved $470 million for future campus construction.

Gordon wants UA to reaffirm its four-year-old commitment to put a branch of the Arizona Cancer Center in Phoenix.  “While outsiders are trying to put together a speculative real-estate deal, it risks slowing down and diverting the attention necessary to continue the momentum to build the biomedical campus,” Gordon said, noting the state Legislature and other groups have committed more than $1 billion to the downtown project.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Houston, Arizona facilities may begin cancer center for Valley

[Source: Kate Nolan, Arizona Republic] — A major Houston cancer center may collaborate with Arizona’s largest health-care provider on cancer care in Phoenix.  According to sources from both institutions, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Banner Health are in talks that may lead to a comprehensive cancer center downtown.  The Valley already boasts branches of two major cancer clinics in Scottsdale, the Arizona Cancer Center (based in Tucson) and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (based in Rochester, Minn.).

Like M.D. Anderson, they are among the 39 elite comprehensive cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute.  In all, the NCI funds 62 cancer centers.  Plans for a full-scale downtown Phoenix cancer center have been in the works before.  A proposed collaboration between Arizona Cancer Center, Maricopa Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare, Banner Health, and others for a downtown facility in conjunction with the University of Arizona College of Medicine never got past the talking stage.  Later talks between the Arizona Cancer Center and Banner Health ended last year without an agreement.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]