TUHS affiliation with Fox Chase to benefit cancer research, medical students’ studies

The university signed an agreement in December with Fox Chase Cancer Center.

As part of an initiative to expand Temple’s cancer treatment and research program, the university signed an agreement in December 2011 to form an affiliation with Fox Chase Cancer Center. Fox Chase is one of only two National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in the region.

“It is a unique resource in the Philadelphia area,” said Dr. Larry Kaiser, president of Temple University Health System. “It is an outstanding cancer center in that it has both a research mission as well as a clinical mission. It has outstanding clinicians as well as outstanding cancer researchers.”

“The Fox Chase family of corporations will become part of the TUHS family of corporations at the time of closing and this will give us an opportunity to meet our mission of prevailing over cancer,” Fox Chase CEO Michael Seiden added.

Fox Chase is located in Jeanes Hospital, where Temple’s bone marrow program is also housed. Seiden said the partnership with Temple will allow his institution to better utilize the shared space.

“Specifically, it will give us additional space for clinical expansion by leasing some space within Jeanes Hospital,” Seiden said. “Because Jeanes Hospital is within the family of the TUHS corporations, instead of a 14-acre Fox Chase campus and a 33-acre Jeanes campus, we can start thinking of it as a 47-acre campus and what is the best way of using that campus in the years ahead as all of us think about how medicine and health care is changing and how to best serve patients who come to us for care.”

Seiden also said his institution has the potential to benefit from the university’s other programs through collaborations with Fox School of Business and the Schools of Engineering and Pharmacy.

“It will give us an opportunity to create academic synergy through both the cancer researchers at Temple as well as other basic science and political science researchers at Temple,” Seiden said. “Hopefully, it will give us the opportunity to become a more robust partner with Temple in the education of students who are interested in cancer or medicine or allied healths. I look at it as a way to provide us some much needed space, to provide us research opportunities and to provide us new academic opportunities.”

In addition to benefitting cancer patients in the region, Kaiser emphasized the advantages the new partnership lends to the university and students.

“From the standpoint of medical students, [this is] an opportunity to do rotations at Fox Chase,” Kaiser said. “I think this sort of affiliation benefits the region as much as anything, I think that Fox Chase having a university affiliation and being a part of the University Health System allows us to better attract graduate students, post-graduate fellows, outstanding faculty members.”

Kaiser added that the nascent partnership is part of his personal set of objectives for the TUHS.

“When I came here last April, as part of my overall vision for the health system, I felt that the opportunity to affiliate with Fox Chase would be a tremendous opportunity for Temple and truly be transformational for Temple,” Kaiser said. “It’s all part of the vision that I’ve outlined for where the TUHS needs to be. But it’s the work of a lot of people. We’ve got an extensive team here of finance people, our legal people, our operations people working with the Fox Chase folks.”

Even though there are still some things to be finalized in the agreement, Seiden said he is excited about the opportunities the partnership offers.

“It has given us an opportunity to learn about each other, to learn about the culture of the institutions we lead, to learn a little bit about our aspirations and how the resources each of us have might help each other in meeting the goals of better cancer care and better cancer research for the region,” Seiden said.

Kate Kelly can be reached at kate.kelly@temple.edu.

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