Bermuda Hospitals Board and Dana Farber Cancer CenterJoin Forces to Improve Cancer Care in Bermuda

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announced a formal agreement with the Dana Farber Cancer Center that will enable BHB’s Oncology Team to collaborate with one of the leading cancer care providers in the US to develop services for people in Bermuda.
Dana Farber is a world-renowned centre of excellence for cancer. Based in Boston and part of the Partners Healthcare System, Dana Farber is already a destination of choice for many people in Bermuda who are undergoing cancer treatment.

This agreement will enable BHB to leverage the depth and breadth of expertise that a large, specialist cancer centre can provide to support service development in Bermuda and improve access to care on-island. BHB’s Oncology team, which comprises a Chief of Oncology, two Oncology Nurses and an Administrator, has sustained a solid cancer service on island for people in Bermuda over many years. The association with Dana Farber will augment this service. Over time BHB’s Oncology Team and Dana Farber will collaborate to establish different cancer programmes that will review epidemiology, screening, access to care, and pave the way for specialists to visit Bermuda from Dana Farber.

The first programmes to be established by BHB in partnership with Dana Farber will be for Prostate Cancer in October 2008 and Breast Cancer in 2009.

Having BHB work more closely with hospitals on the East Coast to improve access to and quality of care for the people of Bermuda was announced by the Premier last year. Since then, BHB has been working with Partners Healthcare System, Lahey and Johns Hopkins to formalise relationships. This is the first of those agreements.

Premier Dr. Ewart F. Brown comments: “I want to congratulate Minister Bascome, his team and all the healthcare professionals who worked so hard to make this a reality,” comments. “The public should know however, this bold move today with Dana Farber is only the first brick, just the foundation. In the coming months Bermudians will have unprecedented access to a higher level of care that is not only more efficient but less costly too. Having to travel abroad for specialized care is no longer the only option. I can proudly say this is another Government promise made, another Government promise kept.”

Minister of Health, the Hon. Nelson Bascome, JP MP says: “Today is proof that the Bermuda Hospitals Board is rising to Government’s mandate that the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital be the best possible institution that we can have. This Government believes that Bermudians and residents of this country deserve the best. Today’s announcement of the partnership with Dana Farber is a step in that direction. I am extremely excited and congratulate the Board, CEO and Chief of Staff for their efforts and foresight to bring this partnership to fruition. “

Herman Tucker, Chairman of the Bermuda Hospitals Board, comments: “This formal agreement is a major landmark in cancer services in Bermuda,” notes. “As a Board we are committed to improving Bermuda’s access to high quality care. Our existing Oncology Team will continue to be the foundation of our service, but now they will be able to work in partnership with Dana Farber to utilise a depth and breadth that our size in Bermuda would prevent us from achieving alone. The benefit to patients is an integrated, international cancer care service, where on-island services are strengthened and access to care is improved.”

Chief of Staff, Dr Donald Thomas III, adds: “From a clinical perspective, this agreement helps us build on a solid oncology service and collaborate with a leading cancer centre to support cancer care development in Bermuda. By leveraging Dana Farber’s formidable resources we can build a comprehensive cancer care service for people in Bermuda, so that we can better understand the epidemiology of different cancers in Bermuda and so improve screening, prevention, treatments and, importantly, access to care.”

Ms Leslie Shane, Director of Bermuda Partners, comments: “Partners HealthCare is very pleased to play a key role in the development of a visionary new cancer care model for Bermudian patients. Bermudians will have more opportunities to see cancer specialists on island and can feel confident that their care will be a seamless transition if overseas treatment becomes necessary”.

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