A new facility at UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center was inaugurated to provide the most advanced clinical care and research progress for cancer patients in Tarrant and ten other local counties. The new Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth integrates the UT institution, which is the only cancer center in the region and is among the only 68 in the country designated by the National Cancer Institute.
The new expansion of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center’s services in Fort Worth includes a 22,500 square feet facility designed to improve access to exam space, state-of-the-art imaging capabilities, onsite lab and pharmacy services. Also new at the Fort Worth facility are 14 private infusion rooms for patients undergoing chemotherapy, as announced by the academic institution in a press release.
“This exciting clinical commitment in Fort Worth is not only an important expansion to the services available at the Moncrief Cancer Institute, but also allows us to extend the full backing and advantage of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center to the important western portions of the North Texas region that we are dedicated to serving,” explained the associate dean of Oncology Programs and director of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, James K. Willson.
“The evidence-based, research-backed approach to cancer of our NCI-designated center will be equally reflected in our commitment here,” continued Willson, who also serves as professor of Internal Medicine and holds The Lisa K. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Comprehensive Oncology. The Forth Worth center will be connected with the main Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, through secure telemedicine links, in order to enable expert consultations and access to electronic medical records.
“This facility is superb. Its design is patient-centric, and its technology will transform the way we deliver treatment and services,” believes the future Medical Director of the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center Fort Worth, John H. “Jay” Lohrey, who is an assistant professor of Internal Medicine. “When I meet with a patient, our secure telemedicine links will enable us to videoconference with specialists at UT Southwestern who dedicate their careers to studying and treating exactly the type of cancer that my patient has in Fort Worth.”
In addition, the center will also include the expertise of oncologists, surgeons and bone marrow transplant specialists at UT Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, as well as radiation oncologists at the W.A. Monty & Tex Moncrief Radiation Oncology Building. In Tarrant County alone, there are expected to be registered over 7,200 new cancer cases this year, according to the estimations of the Texas Cancer Registry, particularly focused on breast, lung and colon cancers.
“The Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center Fort Worth reflects UT Southwestern’s commitment to expanding access to health care by bringing the exceptional care of the region’s only NCI-designated cancer center closer to home for those in Tarrant and surrounding counties,” stated the president of UT Southwestern, Daniel K. Podolsky.
“The care being made available at these new facilities is important to achieving the best possible outcomes for patients, as well as extending UT Southwestern’s research and education missions. We appreciate the extraordinary, longtime commitment of the Moncrief family to Fort Worth and this region, as well as UT Southwestern,” added Podolsky.
Similarly to what happens at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, which comprises 13 major programs focused on cancer care, the new facility will privilege the treatment of the whole patient, with resource to novel techniques. At the same time, the Forth Worth center will also provide great emphasis to groundbreaking research, dedicated to improve patient care and cancer prevention all over the world.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price congratulated the initiative at the dedication ceremony that took place on May, 4th, while the director of UT Southwestern’s Moncrief Cancer Institute and associate professor of Clinical Sciences at the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keith Argenbright said that the clinical focus of the new facility is going to be valuable to both the mission of the Institute and community of Fort Worth.
“The community outreach, survivor care and counseling, and mobile mammography services that the Moncrief Cancer Institute historically provided have proven to be important components of improving access to quality health care throughout Tarrant County and adjoining communities. These new offerings represent an exciting evolution of that mission,” said Argenbright.
The Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center was established in 1989 after a donation from the Dallas philanthropist Harold C. Simmons, and has become a reference in oncology care. Focused on the development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, while educating new generations of health care professionals, the center is also one of the 30 cancer research centers in the country nominated a National Clinical Trials Network Lead Academic Participating Site.