Norwalk Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have announced the formation of MSK Physicians at Norwalk Hospital.
The cancer care collaboration will integrate MSK medical and radiation oncologists and care practices with the existing cancer program at the C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital.
For the first time, Memorial Sloan Kettering doctors will be leading cancer services within another hospital’s cancer program outside of New York state, with Norwalk’s current team of oncologists, nurses, surgeons, and pathologists practicing alongside MSK doctors.
The organizations said the relationship will give Fairfield County residents access to the newest cancer treatment options. Patients treated at Norwalk Hospital will remain Norwalk Hospital patients and will have access to MSK for more complex cases and hundreds of clinical trials.
As part of the collaboration, three MSK experts – Drs. Linda Vahdat, Daniel Shasha and Hsiang-Chi Kuo – have joined the Norwalk Hospital staff and will lead its medical oncology, radiation therapy and medical physics cancer departments. All six of Norwalk Hospital’s medical and radiation oncologists have also joined MSK’s medical staff.
“Even though the majority of cancer care in the United States is delivered in the community, cancer care advances can sometimes take years to reach patients there,” said Vahdat, the new chief of medical oncology and clinical director of cancer services at Norwalk Hospital.
“MSK Physicians at Norwalk Hospital aims to bridge this gap,” she said, “and ensure the best outcomes for Norwalk Hospital’s patients by bringing leading medical and radiation oncology experts to Norwalk Hospital, implementing Memorial Sloan Kettering’s clinical practice in medical oncology and radiation therapy, and maintaining an environment of consistent cancer care.”
Vahdat further said that many patients prefer to be treated close to home for convenience and familiarity. “Memorial Sloan Kettering and Norwalk Hospital’s relationship means that the 700 patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer each year at Norwalk Hospital can receive care at a location they already know and trust and still access the best drug- and radiation-based treatment options for their disease,” she said.