UNM Cancer Center To Care for Lovelace Patients



July 10, 2008

Contact: Sam Giammo, Public Affairs Director, 505/272-3682

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – UNM’s Cancer Research and Treatment Center (CRTC) will become the exclusive provider of medical oncology services for all Lovelace Health Plan members, beginning October 1.

With this new partnership, Lovelace Health Plan members will have access to new cancer treatment technologies and therapies through important clinical trials currently underway at the CRTC, a National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center. Additional patient and family support services, such as cancer patient navigators, social workers, pastoral and hospice care, and advanced scheduling techniques also are being developed to enhance the quality of services for Lovelace Health Plan patients.

"As one of the nation’s leading cancer centers, our goals are not only to conduct groundbreaking research in the fight against cancer, but to assure that all New Mexicans have access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art cancer diagnosis and treatment through our statewide cancer care network," says Dr. Cheryl Willman, UNM CRTC director and CEO. "This important partnership will help us meet those goals."

The UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center already has assumed responsibility for all medical oncology clinics in the Lovelace Health System at Lovelace Medical Center, Lovelace St. Joseph’s Square, and Lovelace Women’s Hospital. UNM medical oncologists have been treating Lovelace patients in these same locations for the past year, consequently the majority of Lovelace patients will see no difference in their physicians or facilities.

Lovelace Health System will continue to provide its patients radiation oncology services through its American College of Radiology accredited Radiation Oncology program located at Lovelace Medical Center and at the Lovelace Northeast Heights Cancer Center at 4650 Jefferson NE.


UNM CRTC/Lovelace Health Plan partnership – 1st and only add

The UNM CRTC is home to the state’s largest team of cancer specialists, with 81 physicians board-certified in various oncology disciplines; and the state’s only cancer research team, with 118 scientists supported by more than $50 million in annual grants. In 2007, the CRTC conducted more than 200 clinical trials, giving patients access to the latest and most promising cancer drugs and treatments.

"The UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center, the official cancer center of the State of New Mexico, is one of the nation’s top-50 cancer centers and is our region’s only cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute," offers Dennis Wilson, CEO of Lovelace Health Plan. "This new partnership means Lovelace members will have access to the expertise of the state’s largest team of board-certified oncology physicians and important clinical trials. This truly is an exciting day for our medical oncology patients and for cancer care in New Mexico."

"We look forward to working with community physicians and the Lovelace Health System team to provide outstanding care for Lovelace Health Plan patients," concludes Willman.

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