Kadlec Regional Medical Center and the Tri-Cities Cancer Center have committed to maintaining the cancer center as a distinct entity following a tumultuous year that saw Lourdes and Trios withdraw as owner/partners after they were acquired by a for-profit medical company.
Kadlec and the cancer center jointly announced a series of decisions to maintain the cancer center within Kadlec on Sept. 16.
They also announced that Michele Caron has been named interim operational leader.
She succeeds Chuck DeGooyer, who previously announced his intent to retire. DeGooyer is recuperating from surgery related to an accident several weeks ago and will be recovering at home for several months.
No other details were provided.
The cancer center board hired a third-party consultant to guide it as it went ahead with Kadlec as its sole member/owner.
Created in 1994, the cancer center was established as a joint venture between Trios Health, which was Kennewick General Hospital at the time, Lourdes Health in Pasco and Kadlec in Richland. The nonprofit cancer center operated as a separate corporation with its own board, but its ownership resided with the three member hospitals.
The cancer center board decided the Tri-Cities Cancer Center "brand" will remain intact under Kadlec ownership and may even be expanded to incorporate more cancer services.
"The cancer center has built a strong reputation in the community, and we hope to build on this strength as we continue to improve cancer services for those we are privileged to serve," it said.
The cancer center's radiation oncology service will be integrated with cancer services offered by Kadlec, including its hematology and oncology unit that is co-located at the cancer center's Kennewick facility.
Many cancer patients receive chemotherapy on one end of the building and radiation treatment on the other.
Details will be announced as they develop but integrating the two systems will lead to better coordination for patients.
The Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation will continue to operate as it has in the past. It will work with Kadlec to boost patient support services, including screenings, classes, research and support groups.
“The board wants to thank the cancer center staff for its professionalism and patience,” said Susan Kreid, a cancer center board member since 2005 as well as Kadlec board member.
“We look forward to what the future holds for the cancer center,” said Dr. Sue Mandell, radiation oncologist and medical director for cancer center. “My colleagues and I are excited to join our partners at Kadlec and take cancer care in the Tri-Cities to an even higher level.”
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