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CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System Opens World-Class Inpatient Cancer Center September 18, 2020

Tyler, Texas – Thanks to the new, state-of-the-art Louise Herrington Cancer Center on the fifth floor of the now complete Bradley-Thompson Tower at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital - Tyler, people across Northeast Texas will have unique access to truly world-class cancer care.

“The opening of the new Cancer Center is an exciting event,” explained Steven Curley, M.D., FACS, Director of CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic Cancer Institute. “Moving into this space allows us to provide state of the art, inpatient care for our complex cancer patients.”

The Cancer Center is named in memory and in grateful appreciation of philanthropic champion, Louise Herrington, whose steadfast generosity to CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System is a true testament to her passion for improving health care for the people of Northeast Texas.

The new Center includes 24 inpatient beds in large, private suites designed to accommodate the patients’ family and care teams. Cancer care requires the help of many people, and the Center provides the full scope of care needed; including surgeons, nursing staff, physical therapists and dietitians, as well as medical, radiation, and gynecologic oncologists in collaboration with Texas Oncology.

The Center is an inpatient center for patients who have had major cancer operations, performed by a distinguished team of CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic surgeons. It is also a setting for oncology patients who are perhaps getting some type of novel treatment or getting infusion/chemotherapy for an aggressive cancer which requires hospitalization. These patients now have a place with higher acuity nursing, a lower nurse-to-patient ratio, and the latest technology to ensure they get the care and attention they need. In addition to high-end cancer specialists, the Center also has a host of acclaimed medical/surgical specialists here to provide care for the patients.

“We can serve patients from across Northeast Texas,” said Jason Proctor, Ministry President, Mother Frances Hospital - Tyler and the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System. “There are incredible med/radiation oncologists available locally to our patients through our colleagues at Texas Oncology, and patients can get the high-end surgical care here. But if patients have gone through all the standard care and are need of something new like a clinical trial drug, they can now come and get that here at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances, as well. Cancer care in this day and age is multidisciplinary – no one can fight this disease alone, and we truly work as a team to care for our patients.”

“We are proud of the many years of collaboration with our colleagues at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances in delivering the full spectrum of leading-edge cancer care to patients in Tyler,” said Mark Saunders, M.D., who is a co-founder of Texas Oncology’s Tyler clinic and East Texas regional medical director for Texas Oncology. “From treatment innovations like CAR-T therapy clinical trials, immunotherapies, and high dose rate brachytherapy, patients in Tyler have access to cancer care that enables them to avoid disruptive travel.”

CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances understands the importance of being close to home near loved ones when facing something as challenging and life-changing as cancer. The Louise Herrington Cancer Center at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler offers the world-class care you need, with the comfort and convenience of not having to travel long distances to receive it.

“We simply cannot say thank you enough to the Louise Herrington family for the impact she’s had in our community and the impact that she’s had with our health system. Every single one of us has been impacted, in some way, by cancer. To be able to create a new center a new facility that improves the lives of those patients aligns with our mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ,” said Chris Glenney, FACHE, Senior Vice President of Group Operations, CHRISTUS Health; Chief Executive Officer, CHRISTUS Health Northeast Texas; President, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System.

CHRISTUS and Texas Oncology to build new cancer institute in Tyler

The future of cancer care in Tyler holds even more promise, as CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances and Texas Oncology currently are finalizing plans for a new outpatient treatment and research center, to be named Northeast Texas Cancer and Research Institute. Construction will begin in the next three to four months, with an eagerly anticipated summer 2022 opening. More details about the new institute will be revealed later this year.

“For cancer care, we are constantly working to determine the very best ways to provide care to our patients, and perhaps the most effective way to do that is to have great partnerships and great teams,” said Glenney. “We have collaborated with Texas Oncology for more than 25 years, with a wonderful clinic on our NorthPark facility in Tyler. They’ve been an ally and a collaborator in really everything we’ve done, from a cancer care perspective, and to be able to advance that relationship is significant for the people of East Texas.

The new institute also will enhance Tyler’s leadership in important cancer research. At Texas Oncology–Tyler, a robust clinical trials and research program has helped in the development of major cancer breakthroughs like immunotherapy drugs such as Opdivo and Keytruda. Texas Oncology–Tyler oncologists have offered more than 550 clinical trials in which more than 8,100 area patients have participated.

“We are able to come together to jointly recruit physicians, to jointly create clinical programs to improve the care for our patients, to expand upon Texas Oncology already enormous research projects and then ultimately to look at opportunities to grow,” said Glenney. “That’s a big part of the what the vision has been and will continue to be for cancer care for this region and for CHRISTUS Health.”

“The longstanding relationship between Texas Oncology and CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System has been a blessing to so many in the East Texas community, and there are significant projects on the horizon for both organizations,” said Proctor.

“The combination of expert inpatient care at CHRISTUS and Texas Oncology’s decades of experience in pioneering community-based care will continue to meet the comprehensive and varied cancer care needs of Northeast Texas,” said Dr. Saunders.

“Thanks to a significant investment and the future philanthropic support of the people of this community, we will be breaking ground on a state-of the-art outpatient cancer center imminently, with construction set to begin in the next few months,” said Glenney. “This new outpatient facility will allow health care providers to work in a true multidisciplinary fashion and to provide the most convenient and effective care for cancer patients across the region when it opens in summer 2022.”

“Our goal is to create a world class cancer care experience,” said Dr. Curley. “We want to keep growing. We want to bring in other specialists. Our medical oncologist colleagues at Texas Oncology are expanding, recruiting new caregivers. The Louise Herrington Cancer Center and our future plans allow us to work in a true multidisciplinary fashion. The future of cancer care here is incredibly exciting.”