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Monday, August 27, 2012 - 1:21am

Columbus Hospitals Join Forces On Cancer Care

Two competing hospitals in Columbus are creating a new partnership in women’s cancer medicine. They are trying to beef up care so patients don’t leave town looking for treatment.

Columbus Regional Healthcare and St. Francis Hospital have jointly hired a new gynecologic oncology specialist to link their programs.

St. Francis president and CEO Robert Granger said his facility has a strong surgical cancer program, while Columbus Regional is stronger in medical cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.

“If we can bring those two programs together into a true, comprehensive, integrated cancer program -- rather than duplicating services but instead working together collaboratively -- we can have a tremendously better clinical outcome than we would otherwise,” Granger said.

He said many Columbus-area patients travel to Atlanta or the University of Alabama in Birmingham to get that kind of comprehensive care now.

“This is an area where it really makes sense not only from a business perspective of what’s their strength is our weakness and what our weakness is their strength. It also is [an area] that allows us to do something for the good of the community and bring something here together that neither of us could do individually,” Granger said.

Initially, the focus is women’s cancer care. But long term, hospital officials want to expand to all types of cancer.

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