OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network

ATHENS — OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital has become a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center, a world-renowned leader in cancer care.

“Certification at O’Bleness will help advance cancer care in the community while still keeping that care local for patients and their families,” said Dr. Praveen Dubey, medical director and OhioHealth system vice president, cancer services. “This certification creates a new standard of cancer care for southeastern Ohio.”

Dr. David D. Howell Jr., radiation oncologist, also was certified by the network. Howell joins medical oncologists Dr. Shakir Sarwar and Dr. Anitha Nallari who were previously certified.

MD Anderson is among the nation’s original three comprehensive cancer centers pioneering the National Cancer Institute guidelines that set the standard of cancer care today.

MD Anderson Cancer Center is ranked by US News & World Report’s annual “Best Hospitals” survey as the top in cancer care and No. 1 for 14 of the past 17 years. O’Bleness will now have access to MD Anderson’s evidence-based care guidelines.

“As OhioHealth hospitals and physicians are certified, there is new hope for cancer patients,” said Dubey. “As a certified member, our physicians in Athens will now be tied together through clinical protocols and treatment plans, as well as tumor boards and cancer committees. This relationship with MD Anderson Cancer Network serves as not only a validation of the exceptional care that we’re currently providing, but gives us that added edge and resource should a patient have an especially complex cancer. In those cases, we’ll be able to leverage our relationship with our Houston colleagues to ensure those patients are receiving optimal care.”

As a new member of MD Anderson Cancer Network, O’Bleness is now part of a best practices and quality improvement program. The program offers certified OhioHealth hospitals and their associated cancer specialists – also certified by MD Anderson’s Cancer Network – access to MD Anderson guidelines for treatment planning and improving the quality of cancer care provided.

“MD Anderson is known worldwide for its cancer care and OhioHealth has a strong reputation for treating cancer with a high-touch, patient-centered approach,” said Mark Seckinger, president of O’Bleness. “We’re thrilled about this relationship and how it’s moved forward to provide this care right here in Athens and surrounding communities. It’s a very exciting time for our hospital and our cancer patients, and this is really what it’s all about – the patient.”

Two OhioHealth hospitals, OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, became certified members in September 2014. In 2015, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital and OhioHealth Marion General Hospital became certified members. In 2016, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital became a certified member.

Eighty affiliated medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists are certified by MD Anderson Cancer Network. At this time there are no other plans for additional OhioHealth hospitals to become certified.

OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.