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Henry Ford to Launch New Precision Medicine, Cancer Center

The Henry Ford Health System has broken ground on a new facility that will focus on precision medicine, research, and cancer care.

Henry Ford Health System broke ground on new cancer, precision medicine facility

Source: Thinkstock

By Thomas Beaton

A new facility in Detroit, MI aims to become a premier destination center for ambulatory cancer treatment, precision medicine, clinical trials and research, and enhanced support services for cancer patients.

The Henry Ford Health System broke ground on the Henry Ford Cancer Institute, the health system’s eventual new home for treating patients with cancer and developing precision medicine therapies.

"We've long envisioned creating a world-class cancer destination with a coordinated, unified environment and we're so proud to make this vision a reality," said John Popovich Jr., MD, President and CEO, Henry Ford Hospital. "This building is the first of many announcements for our campus expansion and we are excited to build on that momentum."

The overarching goal of the Cancer Institute, which is slated to open in 2020, is to capitalize on precision medicine and use it deliver personalized cancer care.

"Precision medicine is the future of cancer treatment and the path to an eventual cure," said Steven N. Kalkanis, MD, Medical Director, Henry Ford Cancer Institute and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery.

"Being able to crack the molecular genetic code for each patient's individual cancer will allow us to zero in on the safest and most personalized treatment. When you combine that with access to Henry Ford's leading clinical trials and research programs, we really are building new hope for cancer patients worldwide."

Once the facility is complete, all patients will have a nurse navigator, specially trained in their specific cancer type, to manage the entire treatment process. Patients will also have access to integrated lab services, extended weekday and weekend hours, on-site exercise, nutrition, and wellness planning, and access to integrative medicine and personal care items as well as counseling, spiritual, and other support services.

Included throughout the facility are telemedicine services, so patients and their families can have extended access to a physician and their health data.

"This is a crucial step in advancing our cancer care program and we're delighted to break ground," said Wright Lassiter, III, President and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. "This project extends far beyond brick and mortar. Henry Ford is revolutionizing the whole approach to cancer care and making it accessible to patients, no matter where they live."

Funding for the new center came from local Detroit businessman and philanthropist Mort Harris, who provided $20 million of a $40 million donation package to build programs involving precision medicine, brain cancer treatment, and pancreatic cancer treatment. Harris’s gift was made in honor of his late wife who was diagnosed with cancer.

"This is my life's work now – to partner with the people from Henry Ford to find a cure for pancreatic cancer," said Mort Harris. "I watched my wife suffer for 21 months with this disease and no one else should have to endure that."


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