Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, which opened in 2009, has rapidly gained widespread recognition as an innovative, state-of-the-art facility and a pioneer in genetic-based, personalized patient care and research. The glistening new building brings the clinical and scientific expertise of the affiliated Yale Cancer Center under one roof. Now Smilow is branching out into the Greater New Haven community and beyond by establishing Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers.
“The primary goal of the centers is to offer cancer care to patients throughout the community on the same level as at Smilow itself,” says Harold H. Tara, Jr., MD, a physician at the Smilow Care Center located on the Saint Raphael Campus. Tara is one of the physicians whose established, private cancer care practices have been merged into this novel Smilow network.
“This is the first time anything like this has ever been done at Yale-New Haven,” he says. “Patients affected by cancer and blood diseases
have access to the cutting-edge Smilow care right in their local communities.”
In addition to the Smilow hub and Saint Raphael Campus, other Smilow Care Centers are located in Derby (Griffin Hospital), Guilford (Yale-New Haven Shoreline Medical Center), Hamden, Orange, Sharon, Torrington (Charlotte Hungerford Hospital) and Waterbury (Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center). In fact, there is a center within 20 minutes of nearly every resident in New Haven County.
At Smilow Care Centers, board-certified oncologists and hematologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and support staff see more than 15,000 patients each year, treating many different types of cancer, including rare conditions. What’s more, each center collaborates with diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and medical, radiation and surgical oncologists at their individual hospitals, along with consulting with the Smilow-based team. Chemotherapy is available on-site at all of the centers, with concurrent radiation therapy available at most locations.
In addition to superior clinical services, the Care Centers also offer more patients the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking clinical trials of new treatments and medications.
“They will have access to trials not only through the individual centers,” Tara explains, “but also can be referred to ones at Smilow.” There, multidisciplinary teams are involved in translational research, which quickly brings important discoveries from the laboratory to the clinical setting and the patients.
“The Care Centers were established, first and foremost, for our patients,” Tara concludes. “We knew in setting up this network that it was the right thing to do to meet their needs.”