Sutter Health and Stanford Medicine have formalized a joint venture between the two health systems to expand access to coordinated, state-of-the-art cancer services for patients and their families in the East Bay. The Stanford Medicine | Sutter Health Cancer Collaborative will offer residents and their families an integrated and comprehensive suite of outpatient cancer-related services, including seamless coordination of early detection, cancer care and support programs. The joint venture also includes the construction of an integrated, multidisciplinary outpatient cancer center.

“Through an integrated approach and partnership, Sutter Health and Stanford Medicine will provide enhanced cancer care services in the East Bay,” said Sarah Krevans, president and CEO of Sutter Health. “By working together, we can make an even greater positive impact on the communities we serve, including vulnerable populations, so that patients and their families can focus on treatment and recovery.”

The collaborative cancer program will partner Stanford Medicine’s leading cancer program with Sutter’s longstanding integrated network of care, which has served patients in the East Bay for more than a century. Patients will have access to the highest level of quality, innovative care and leading-edge academic clinical trials.

“We are thrilled to formalize our collaboration with Sutter Health and together bring the highest level of cancer care to patients in the East Bay,” said David Entwistle, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care. “We believe the best possible care for patients involves an environment where patients and their families can have access to the full spectrum of early detection, cancer care, and survivorship services close to their homes. The Stanford Medicine | Sutter Health Cancer Collaborative is a significant investment in the East Bay community and will build upon Stanford Health Care’s and Sutter Health’s strengths in cancer care and high-quality, integrated networks to provide all East Bay patients with the best care, close to home.”

The collaborative also includes plans to develop an integrated, multidisciplinary outpatient cancer center in the East Bay, modeled on the highly successful Stanford Cancer Center South Bay — which has provided world-class cancer care for over five years to the local community. The new cancer center will serve as a local hub for cancer care and offer East Bay patients and their families access to the most advanced, complete and coordinated care from screening through survivorship.

The proposed site is on the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center campus in Oakland on land owned by Sutter Health. A new medical office building on this site will house the cancer center, which will include imaging, lab, infusion, and radiation therapy services; the building will also house physician offices and an ambulatory surgery center. When completed, the cancer center will serve as a local hub for state-of-the-art cancer care, and by integrating care locations and reducing travel time, the single-destination, single-team service will help patients focus on treatment and recovery. The building could be completed as early as 2024, pending approvals.

“We see this collaboration as a golden opportunity to improve the community’s access to the finest cancer care by combining and enhancing clinical care capabilities and providing these advanced services locally,” said Conrad Vial, MD, senior vice president and chief clinical officer for Sutter Health. “We’re bringing together a team of exceptionally trained specialists whose practices are grounded in the latest research and state-of-the-art technology, all with one goal in mind—to help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes.” 

Transformative level of care, closer to home

 “The treatment of cancer is a rapidly evolving field,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. “The collaboration between Stanford Medicine and Sutter Health will provide a continuum of care for our patients, starting at the beginning with cancer prevention and screening as well as opportunities to participate in some of the world’s most innovative cancer treatment trials. Stanford Medicine’s physician-scientists are actively investigating new therapies and working to make sure that they are accessible to all patients in our community. This collaboration presents a tremendous opportunity to expand patient access to cutting-edge cancer care, informed by the latest biomedical research.”

Access and equity for underserved communities

As like-minded health care organizations, Sutter and Stanford are looking to the future and committed to bringing an even greater benefit to the communities they serve, including underserved and vulnerable populations. Stanford and Sutter see the challenges to patients in the East Bay who see medical, surgical and radiation oncologists in different locations without centrally coordinated plans for ongoing care and monitoring. In fact, data shows that many cancer patients in the East Bay travel outside of the area for some components of their care.

The Stanford Medicine | Sutter Health Cancer Collaborative will greatly enhance the organizations’ shared commitment to health equity by improving access to exceptional care for underrepresented minorities in the East Bay community, who often lack access to advanced care options and the ability to participate in clinical trials. The collaborative also intends to partner with local cancer support organizations to build these relationships to create a safety net of cancer services for the community.

Enhancing community access to high-quality healthcare is a cornerstone of the Stanford Medicine | Sutter Health Collaborative, which plans to establish a joint patient and family advisory council (PFAC) comprised of a diverse group of patients and their families from the community. The PFAC will provide feedback to help guide the cancer center’sprograms and services and inform the design and services of the new cancer center. 

United strengths

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is one of five Bay Area Sutter Health hospital campuses recognized as among the best in California by U.S. News & World Report. ABSMC has also received the highest rating (5 stars) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hospital quality ratings. Additionally, Sutter Health includes many of California’s top-performing, highest-quality physician organizations.

Stanford Health Care brings its strength as a National Cancer Institute’s designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and its leadership as one of the founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of 26 of the leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer.

Stanford Health Care is consistently recognized as one of the top hospitals in America for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report, recognized for overall quality and safety by Vizient in 2020, and awarded an A from The Leapfrog Group’s Fall 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.