Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center has joined The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute’s (OSUCCC – James) The James Cancer Network as an affiliated hospital.

By joining The James Cancer Network, Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Cancer Center will continue to provide advanced comprehensive, state-of-the-art and compassionate cancer care to our community. This affiliation provides Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Cancer Center physicians and patients access to the expertise and subspecialization at the OSUCCC – James as network members while allowing patients to stay close to home where they will be near their loved ones and support system.

In addition, this affiliation provides Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Cancer Center physicians and patients access to tele-genetics, tele-survivorship care plans and clinical trials.

“Mercy Health – St. Rita’s and The James Cancer Network are affiliating to provide enhanced cancer care and treatment options to our patients,” said Bob Baxter, president of Mercy Health – Lima & Toledo. “We are excited to join a network with such a respected name in cancer care and believe that together we can make a difference in the lives of those who are battling this disease.”

“This is a landmark day for Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Cancer Center, the OSUCCC – James and everyone in the Lima region, because this new affiliation enables us all to benefit from a shared vision of creating a cancer-free world,” said David Cohn, MD, chief medical officer at the OSUCCC – James. “As healthcare professionals in Ohio State’s cancer program collaborate with professionals in the excellent cancer programs offered by our affiliates in The James Cancer Network, more and more people with cancer are experiencing better outcomes, fewer side effects and more hope—without venturing far from home.” 

Cancer is the second leading cause of death nationwide, and Ohio is among the nation’s leaders in both cancer rates and cancer-related mortality, ranking 8th and 6th respectively. In 2016, more than 25,000 Ohioans died of cancer.

In Allen County between 2010-2014, an average of 582 new invasive cancer cases and 245 deaths occurred each year.

St. Rita’s cancer program provides integrated multidisciplinary care and is accredited by the nationally recognized Commission on Cancer. Using leading-edge technology, the team collaborates to provide evidence-based care to area patients to optimize recovery and survival rates.

The OSUCCC – James is the only cancer program in the United States that features a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center aligned with a nationally ranked academic medical center and a free-standing cancer hospital on the campus of one of the country’s largest public universities. With more than 200 oncologists, each of whom specializes in just one type of cancer, the OSUCCC – James offers expert subspecialization, which leads to more productive integration with cancer research and, ultimately, to better outcomes.

“Cancer has likely impacted most people’s lives in some form. It can be a very difficult and frightening diagnosis,” said Dr. Chris Rhoades, medical director for St. Rita’s oncology services. “Residents of Lima and the surrounding communities can now be comforted in knowing that the St. Rita’s team is collaborating with the ultra-specialized experts from The James. We are dedicated to conquering cancer and will start by treating the patients in the community we serve.”

This affiliation is part of a larger alliance between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, a world-class, academic medical center, and Mercy Health, the largest health care provider in the state, with the goal of transforming the health of the communities we serve. Together, we can drive the changes that are needed to create a new state of health in our community.

By bringing together the best of academic medicine, cancer expertise and community health care in Ohio, the OSUCCC – James, OSUWMC and Mercy Health will be uniquely positioned to make a difference in the health of our state and beyond.

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