Dana-Farber receives widespread support for proposed hospital dedicated to cancer patients

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Community leaders, health experts, patients, and elected officials testify in support of the hospital at MA Department of Public Health hearing

Yesterday, community leaders, health experts, patients, and elected officials testified in support of a new hospital dedicated to cancer patients and a new collaboration between Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). These stakeholders testified to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) during a hearing in the Determination of Need (DoN) process.

Dana-Farber and BIDMC first announced plans for this collaboration in September 2023. Leaders from Dana-Farber and BIDMC also spoke in support of the proposed cancer hospital at the hearing. View excerpts of their testimony here.

Individuals across the region and various sectors highlighted the benefits of a dedicated cancer hospital in the region, including better health outcomes, more cost-effective care, expanded access and equity, support for cancer research, and job creation. This includes community leaders, state legislative leadership, health care experts and academics, and patients.

Select testimony excerpts:

Samantha Taylor, Executive Director of Bowdoin Street Health Center
"We are hopeful that our community-driven approach to research and the expertise of Dana-Farber could lead to significant changes in the care we deliver to our collective patients in the future. As we imagine the possibilities of this partnership, we are committed to keeping our diverse community at the forefront."

Massachusetts State Representative Chynah Tyler, 7th Suffolk District
"One of the main reasons I am here to support Dana-Farber's new proposed hospital is that it's an opportunity to advance equity in cancer research, care, and outcomes. It will allow Dana-Farber to expand on existing partnerships that promote health equity, as well as design programs to remove barriers to treatment and ensure that all patients have access to high-quality cancer care. The people of Boston and of this region need and deserve a dedicated cancer hospital – one that will help advance health equity and save more lives — and we can't wait any longer to make it reality."

Massachusetts State Representative Frank Moran, 17th Essex District
"I am honored to be here tonight to express my support for Dana-Farber's proposed adult inpatient hospital that will expand access and equity, reduce costs, and save lives. I've always had great respect for the work Dana-Farber does, and even more so now that I'm a patient. This proposed cancer hospital will ensure Dana-Farber is equipped to provide every patient with world-class care in an environment that supports the best health outcomes. But most importantly, it will offer more of what every single cancer patient and their families is looking for, which is hope."

Massachusetts State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, 5th Essex District
"This standalone hospital will help Dana-Farber enhance patient care, expand access, and advance equity, all with the potential to reduce health care costs in the Commonwealth. It truly is a win-win for the Commonwealth and for patients. Data clearly show that dedicated cancer hospitals save more lives from cancer. At Dana-Farber's proposed cancer hospital, patients will be surrounded by professionals whose sole focus is cancer – helping to detect symptoms sooner and improve health outcomes."

Karen Howley LaCamera, a Dana-Farber patient from Sudbury, MA
"As a patient of Dana-Farber, I have experienced first-hand one of the world's most respected institutes that is devoted exclusively to cancer, balancing both innovative research and extraordinary patient care. I am here today because their deep understanding of my cancer, personalized approach, compassionate care and more specifically, a pioneering trial, a result of their cutting-edge research. With this new hospital, even more cancer patients will have access to a leading-edge cancer center whose discoveries and innovative approaches to care will make living with cancer less of a burden and living without cancer a greater possibility."

Brian Doherty, General Agent of the Greater Boston Building Trades Unions (GBBTU)
"We're here in full support for a new standalone cancer inpatient hospital that will improve the patient experience, expand access, and provide more cost-effective care, ensuring better care for our entire community now and for generations to come. We want to make sure that construction and every worker in it has an opportunity to provide healthcare to their families and a dignified retirement and we cannot do that without the partners and institutions that we hold so dear in Greater Boston, like Dana-Farber and BIDMC. So, the reason we're here is to make sure that every person working to build that project has a chance to support their families and strengthen their communities."

Doug Fox (aka "The Pink Barbarian"), a Dana-Farber patient from Needham, MA
"I'm here to speak in support of the Dana-Farber in-patient center, and that's because specialization really matters. My wife and I are both cancer survivors. We both received our lifesaving care from Dana-Farber. We were able to take part in clinical trials that did not exist at these other centers. We would like to see this inpatient center create the opportunity for Boston to continue to be the cancer research and treatment capital of the world."

Rahsaan Hall, President and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
"With cancer being the second leading cause of death in America, it is ever more important that we invest in the infrastructure to ensure that we have the best care available for all of our residents. We must make intentional investments in addressing disparities to ensure that the color of a person's skin does not influence the likelihood of surviving this deadly but beatable disease. In addition to its direct benefits to residents' health and well-being, the construction of a new hospital will also have a positive ripple effect on our community: it will create job opportunities, stimulate local businesses and contribute to the overall prosperity and vitality of our area."

Magnolia Contreras, MSW, MBA
Vice President of Community Health at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
"In addition to providing excellent clinical care, we are committed to educating the community and raising awareness about the importance of cancer prevention outreach, screening, early detection, and clinical trials with the focus on communities of color. Our community work is grounded in health, equity, and social justice principles. For over 25 years, our community benefits programs have worked to reduce disparities in cancer care among marginalized populations. The development of a new cancer hospital will enable us to double down on our demonstrated commitment to cancer care and to address the social determinants of health that can contribute to the poor outcomes across our priority neighborhoods and beyond."

Elizabeth Browne, MBA, Executive Director of Charles River Community Health
"Dana-Farber is one of the world's leading providers of cancer care and is committed to both expanding access to cancer care in our communities and closing health equity gaps in cancer treatment. The presence of a modern hospital can attract top tier health care professionals to our community, fostering a dynamic health care ecosystem and stimulating the economy. It could also serve as a hub for medical research and innovation, positioning our community as a leader in health care excellence. Further, both Dana-Farber and BIDMC share a deep commitment to fostering a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion, and dismantling barriers to care."

News Category
Dana-Farber Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Collaboration

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