PHILADELPHIA—Penn Medicine and Virtua Health announced today the renewal of their strategic alliance in cancer and neuroscience services for another three years. The collaboration, which first began in 2015, has enabled South Jersey residents to access comprehensive health care closer to home from a cross-disciplinary team of Penn and Virtua clinicians.
As part of the alliance, the two organizations are advancing plans to open South Jersey’s first proton therapy center on the Virtua Voorhees Hospital campus. Construction began in summer 2020, with an opening date anticipated for summer 2022. From evaluation to treatment, patients will access everything they need at the new facility, including clinical trials involving proton therapy.
“Over the first five years of our alliance with Virtua, thousands of patients in South Jersey have had access to the highest level of health care right in their own community. The interdisciplinary care teams at Penn Medicine and Virtua have established a pathway for patients to access more robust, comprehensive care and treatment options,” said Kevin B. Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “In the years to come, this extended partnership will provide patients with even more access to the health care services they need.”
Specifically, for cancer care, the Penn Medicine Virtua Cancer Program includes medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, microvascular reconstructive surgery, and an array of support services, including nurse navigation, cancer genetics, and high-risk screenings. The program offers locations in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties – most notably, the new Virtua Samson Cancer Center in Moorestown, N.J. and the Virtua Voorhees Cancer Center.
The Penn Medicine Virtua Neurosciences Program is another way the two health systems are working together to ensure the highest level of care is available to Virtua patients and all South Jersey residents. Penn’s neuroscience experts provide neurosurgery, interventional radiology, and stroke support— including access to 24/7 imaging analysis to assess patients and evaluate treatment options.
“One of the best things about Penn Medicine is its commitment to extending outstanding, cutting-edge care to patients in communities outside of Philadelphia,” said Daniel Yoshor, MD, chair of Neurosurgery and vice president of Clinical Integration and Innovation in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “The neuroscience collaboration with Virtua is a terrific example of that commitment and it has allowed us to bring advanced neurological care directly to patients in South Jersey. Virtua is a great partner, and we are pleased to continue this important program for years to come.”
The Penn Medicine and Virtua alliance not only impacts patient care and their access to care, but it has also opened doors for additional education and training opportunities. In fact, as part of the collaboration, multiple orthopaedic surgery fellows have rotated through Virtua as part of their fellowship training programs. Over the course of the next three years of this partnership, Penn Medicine and Virtua will continue to expand its collaborative efforts in both education and patient care, while exploring ways to bring even more – for instance access to clinical trials – to patients in South Jersey.
“The world has changed considerably in the five years since our strategic alliance began,” said Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, president and CEO at Virtua Health. “What remains constant, however, is our shared commitment to providing people with the care they need and combining our resources to be an effective force for good.”