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National Cancer Institute Selected Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute to Continue Participation in NCCCP Program

June 18 2012

LINCOLN, NEB– The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, selected Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute to continue participation in its national network of community cancer centers. A member of the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) since 2007, the Cancer Institute was awarded funding for participation in the NCCCP network for the program’s next two years. Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute participates in NCCCP with Good Samaritan Cancer Center in Kearney and Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center in Grand Island as part of a coordinated regional program. All three hospitals are part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). 

The NCCCP is a collaborative network of community hospitals working to: expand cancer research, enhance access to cancer care, and improve the quality of care for cancer patients served by community hospitals in urban, suburban and rural areas, with an emphasis on underserved populations. The majority of U.S. cancer patients are diagnosed with and treated for the disease in their local communities, where they can remain closer to home rather than commute to major academic medical centers. The NCCCP network has served approximately 53,000 new cancer cases each year.  

Launched in 2007 as a pilot program comprised of 16 community hospitals, the NCCCP added 14 additional sites to the network in 2010. Funding available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed the 30 NCCCP hospitals to recently compete for a program extension; 21 of them were awarded funds to continue program participation. Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute’s selection ensures that the NCCCP network’s ongoing efforts to offer state-of-the-art coordinated care and to create research opportunities will continue to be addressed in Nebraska.     

With a major focus on reducing cancer health care disparities, the 21 NCCCP community hospitals will continue efforts to enhance patient access to the latest, evidence-based cancer care, improve the overall quality of care and expand research opportunities across the cancer continuum. Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute’s continued participation in the program helps to support NCI’s overall mission of accelerating cancer research and improving outcomes for cancer patients across the U.S.

“This is great news for our patients and for our medical communities,” said Dr. M. Sitki Copur, Principal Investigator of NCCCP in Nebraska and Medical Director of Oncology at Saint Francis. “Being approved as one of the initial NCCCP pilot sites in 2007 has allowed Catholic Health Initiatives’ cancer treatment services in Nebraska to develop strong programs in clinical trials, disparities, quality of care, survivorship, palliative care, biospecimens, information technology and communications.

“Participation in the NCCCP has enabled us to establish the infrastructure and has provided the valuable resources needed to make these programs successful,” Dr. Copur added. “It is a great honor and privilege to be awarded the funds to continue our participation in the NCCCP program through June 2014. This will ensure continued high quality, state-of-the-art services covering the entire continuum of cancer care from prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship to end-of-life-care.”

The complete list of NCCCP community hospitals, effective 7/1/2012:

Community Hospitals

  • Billings Clinic, Billings, Montana (Billings Clinic Cancer Center) 
  • Christiana Care Health System, Newark, Delaware (Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care)
  • Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Einstein Cancer Center)
  • Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pennsylvania (Geisinger Cancer Institute)
  • Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin (Gundersen Lutheran Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders)
  • Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut  (Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center)
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania  (John and Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center)
  • Northside Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia  (The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute)
  • Norton Suburban Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky  (Norton Cancer Institute)
  • Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana  (Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins)
  • The Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii  (The Queen’s Cancer Center)
  • Saint Mary’s Health Care, Grand Rapids, Michigan  (Lacks Cancer Center)
  • Sanford USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota  (Sanford Cancer Center)
  • Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Spartanburg, South Carolina  (Gibbs Regional Cancer Center)
  • St. Joseph’s/Candler,  Savannah, Georgia  (Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion)
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, California  (The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment) 

Catholic Health Initiatives, Denver, Colorado, for the following hospitals:

Coordinated regional program in Nebraska:

  • Good Samaritan Hospital, Kearney, NE  (Good Samaritan Cancer Center)
  • Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Lincoln, NE  (Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute)
  • Saint Francis Medical Center, Grand Island, NE  (Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center)
  • Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa  (Mercy Cancer Center)
  • Penrose – St. Francis Health Services, Colorado Springs, Colorado (Penrose Cancer Center)

For more information about the NCCCP network, visit


About Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute
Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute in Lincoln, Neb., offers cancer services encompassing prevention, education, survivorship and palliative care programs. Focused on providing clinical excellence in a healing environment, the specialized team offers: infusion therapy, radiation therapy, cancer genetic counselor, cancer nurse navigators, support groups, survivorship care plans, educational seminars and a wide range of clinical trials. The innovative services at Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute are offering cancer patients more support than ever before. 

Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, founded more than 120 years ago, is a full-service, 260-bed nonprofit regional medical center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Saint Elizabeth has been selected as a Top 100 Hospital® in the nation by Thomson Reuters five times and has been recognized as a Magnet hospital for excellence in nursing since 2004. Saint Elizabeth is guided by its core values of reverence, integrity, compassion, and excellence to devote funding and resources to programs and services that benefit their patients as well as the health of the greater community. Saint Elizabeth is part of Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI).