Establishment of Joint Cancer Center Announced

Represents First Step in F.F. Thompson /Strong Health Alliance

January 27, 1999

New patient care services will be available to Canandaigua area residents through discussions announced today between the F.F. Thompson Health System and Strong Health. Together, the two systems will collaborate to bring specialized cancer treatment closer to home for Finger Lakes residents.

F.F. Thompson Health System board of directors said that F.F. Thompson has decided to pursue an affiliation with Strong Health. "This new relationship allows us to expand the breadth of health care services we are able to offer our community."

Strong Health CEO Jay H. Stein, M.D., said the discussions have focused on the development of joint programs and services like the new Cancer Center. "We prefer to let programmatic changes drive the affiliation process and then step back and customize leadership structure that suits our needs," Stein said. "Our goal is to find the avenue that benefits the community and represents a win for both systems."

According to F.F. Thompson CEO Linda Janczak, the new relationship will enable the two systems to create new models of patient care, share organizational resources to the advantage of both systems, develop improved ways to measure quality improvement and cost savings, and strengthen educational opportunities for staff at various sites.

Among the expanded services planned is a new cancer center on the campus of F.F. Thompson Hospital, a facility that will be jointly financed, managed and staffed by F.F. Thompson Health System, Interlakes Oncology and Hematology, and Strong Health. The new 10,000 square-foot center will be housed on the first floor of a four-story facility to be constructed on the F.F. Thompson campus. Ground is expected to be broken in April for the facility which will house radiation and medical oncology programs as well as complementary therapies for cancer patients. "This will give Ontario County residents the option of receiving state-of-the-art- cancer treatment right here in our area," Janczak said.

"New ventures like the Cancer Center or other specialty clinics represents a significant advance to a new level of collaboration that has existed between F.F. Thompson and Strong Health," said Leo Brideau, Strong Health's vice president for Regional Network Development and Managed Care Contracting. Strong Health physicians already consult with F.F. Thompson staff on infectious disease cases and for patients with sleep disorders, plus neonatal intensive care.

The two systems recently began sharing responsibility for physician recruitment. In addition, many of F.F. Thompson's medical staff are faculty members at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Strong Health includes Strong Memorial Hospital, Children's Hospital at Strong, Highland Hospital, Eastman Dental Center and long-term affiliates the Highlands at Pittsford and the Highlands at Brighton. In addition Strong Health includes nearly 900 affiliated physicians representing virtually every medical specialty. Earlier this year, the system received state approval to add Visiting Nurse Service, Monroe County's largest licensed health agency, to the list of Strong Health affiliates.

F.F. Thompson Health System oversees the operation of seven affiliate organizations and one Independent Practice Association (IPA) on a variety of campuses in Ontario County. The corporations include F.F. Thompson Hospital (113-acute care beds), F.F. Thompson Continuing Care Center (188 beds), Finger Lakes community Care Network, FFTH Properties, Inc., F.F. Thompson foundation, Ontario County Advanced Life Support, FLCCN-IPA, and FFT Senior Communities. F.F. Thompson Health System has a medical staff of more than 250 physicians and 1,000 associates who provide care to more than 120,000 residents of the Greater Finger Lakes region.

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Teri D'Agostino
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