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Norwalk Hospital Launches Cancer Care Program With Memorial Sloan Kettering

Norwalk Hospital's Whittingham Cancer Care Center will work with Memorial Sloan Kettering to provide more services to cancer patients.
Norwalk Hospital's Whittingham Cancer Care Center will work with Memorial Sloan Kettering to provide more services to cancer patients. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have announced a new cancer care collaboration.

MSK medical and radiation oncologists and care practices will be integrated with existing cancer programs at the C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital.

MSK Physicians at Norwalk Hospital is the first time MSK doctors will be leading cancer services with another hospital's cancer program outside of New York state. Through this new model of collaboration, Norwalk Hospital's current team of oncologists, nurses, surgeons and pathologists will be practicing alongside MSK doctors.

The relationship will allow residents of Fairfield County to receive accelerated access to the newest cancer treatment options in the comfort of their local communities. Patients will remain Norwalk Hospital patients, but will have access to MSK for more complex cases and hundreds of clinical trials.

As part of this collaboration, three Memorial Sloan Kettering experts have joined the Norwalk Hospital staff and will read the medical oncology, radiation therapy and medical physics cancer services at Norwalk Hospital.

Linda T. Vahdat, MD, MBA, is now Chief of Medical Oncology and Clinical Director of Cancer Services at Norwalk Hospital and a breast medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Daniel Shasha, MD, is now Chief of Radiation Oncology at Norwalk Hospital and a radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hsiang-Chi (Gary) Kuo, PhD, is now Chief of Medical Physics at Norwalk Hospital and a physicist at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

All six of Norwalk Hospital’s current medical and radiation oncologists have also joined MSK’s medical staff. These oncologists are well-known for their expertise in breast, lung, colorectal, prostate, and gynecologic cancer care. With support from the new relationship with Memorial Sloan Kettering, they will now expand and deepen opportunities to treat a greater range of cancers.

“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. “MSK Physicians at Norwalk Hospital aims to bridge this gap 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 added that a cancer diagnosis is often life changing for patients and their families, and 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.

Vahdat will lead the comprehensive cancer program at Norwalk Hospital, including medical oncology. Vahdat and Shasha will provide full-time patient care on-site at Norwalk Hospital.

“We are very excited to enhance our cancer care program by having our exceptional oncologists formally collaborate with Memorial Sloan Kettering to provide the Fairfield County community access to a world-class team of physicians specializing in chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy — right here at Norwalk Hospital,” said Michael Daglio, President of Norwalk Hospital.

“Part of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s mission is to improve cancer care everywhere, not just within our walls, and to bring high-quality, personalized treatments to patients in their own communities,” said Richard R. Barakat, MD, Director of MSK’s Regional Care Network. “We expect Memorial Sloan Kettering’s new relationship with Norwalk Hospital will help do exactly that for residents of Fairfield County.”

Individuals interested in making an appointment at the C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham Cancer Center should call 203-845-4811 or visit MSKatNorwalk.org .

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