The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center was recognized by the National Cancer Institute as one of the top 51 institutions of its type in the country . PHOTO COURTESY OF UC DAVIS HEALTH
For more than a century , the University of California has been a cornerstone of health care and medical education in Northern California . As it looks to the future , UC Davis Health is transforming that foundation into an anchor from which to spread its specialized medical expertise hundreds of miles north and south of the Capital Region through partnerships with smaller hospitals that can ’ t provide that level of care on their own .
That network of cooperative agreements “ helps us realize the vision of tomorrow ’ s health care and build an architecture to make it happen ,” explains Ron Amodeo , UC Davis Health ’ s chief strategy officer . Unlike mergers that have become more common among for-profit health systems , UC Davis Health looks to retain the independence of their affiliate partners . “ Our philosophy is to complement and not compete with smaller hospitals , while expanding their capability and filling gaps in what the community needs ,” Amodeo says .
SPECIALIZED CARE CLOSER TO HOME UC Davis Health ’ s new cancer care affiliation with Marshall Medical Center in Placerville , announced in January , is a prime example of how a small health care facility can provide highly specialized care while managing costs . The affiliate agreement establishes the Marshall Cancer Center in El Dorado Hills as a part of the UC Davis Cancer Care Network and gives patients access to doctors from the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center — recognized by the National Cancer Institute as one of the top 51 institutions of its type in the country — while being able to stay close to home .
“ With traffic getting worse , people don ’ t want or need to drive for hours to get care and they don ’ t want to get in the car after chemotherapy ,” says Maureen McKennan , regional affiliations officer , who manages similar cooperative programs for neonatal , pediatric and cardiovascular care with smaller hospitals located throughout the region . For cancer affiliations , the UC Davis Cancer Care Network also includes locations such as Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center in Truckee , Adventist Health and Rideout in Marysville , Mercy Medical Center in Merced and Barton Health in Lake Tahoe .
McKennan notes that telemedicine is a big part of what makes the affiliations cost effective . “ It cuts travel costs and improves the quality of care ,” she says , enabling UC Davis specialists to treat patients over a wide area while , in most cases , remaining in Sacramento . Telemedicine also allows smaller hospitals to share the cost of specialists , essentially renting part of their time and avoiding the expense of having them on staff full time . “ And especially in an emergency , they can get a specialist 24 / 7 ,” McKennan adds .
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