Working Together News

National Jewish Health and SCL Health Honored for Leading Lung Cancer Care

Most of us know someone who has survived breast, prostate or colon cancer — but what about lung cancer?
The second leading cause of death in the United States, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer has improved little in the last 40 years, moving from 12 percent in 1970 to 18.6 percent today. The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is working to change that by recognizing hospitals that provide multidisciplinary, patient-centered lung cancer care. It recently named National Jewish Health and SCL Health collectively as community hospital Centers of Excellence (COE) for lung cancer treatment. They are the first hospitals in Colorado and Montana to receive this designation.
“Across the U.S., the majority of lung cancer patients are treated in a community hospital near their home,” said Bonnie J. Addario, a Stage IIIB lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF. Addario believes patient-focused, coordinated, multidisciplinary care with the expertise of a nurse navigator is the most effective way to treat lung cancer and boost survival rates.
Increase Survival through Partnership, Multidisciplinary Care
“We are excited to join forces with the ALCF to address lung cancer prevention, early detection and treatment, helping lung cancer patients in our communities live longer,” said SCL Health’s Chief Medical Director of Oncology Alan Miller, MD.
National Jewish Health and SCL Health met rigorous qualifying criteria to ensure they provide high-quality innovation across the lung cancer care continuum. They also demonstrated a multidisciplinary care model that includes:
  • Early screening and nodule follow-up programs
  • Genetic testing of tumors to ensure appropriate treatment options and access to clinical trials
  • Minimally invasive biopsy, surgical and radiation therapy techniques that reduce risk and improve patient quality of life
  • Access to new targeted therapies and immunotherapies
  • Access to clinical trials for all stages and types of disease
  • Extensive patient education and support
“The Centers of Excellence partnership will enable our lung cancer team at National Jewish Health and SCL Health collectively to deliver more educational and support resources to patients and caregivers that help them through diagnosis and treatment,” said Jeffrey Kern, MD, Lung Cancer Center of Excellence Medical Director for National Jewish Health and SCL Health. “Our individual approach to lung cancer patients has improved countless lives, and we are honored to receive this honor for our high standard of patient care.”
Transforming Lung Cancer from Lethal Disease to Manageable Condition 
The ALCF’s mission is to transform lung cancer into a chronically managed disease. They plan to accomplish this by focusing on four key objectives:
  • Providing patient support and education
  • Increasing early detection
  • Improving consistency and quality of care
  • Increasing treatment options and effectiveness
“ALCF is focused on empowering patients and caregivers to take an active role in the treatment decision process,” Addario said. National Jewish Health and SCL Health are committed to partnering with patients to help make lung cancer a disease that they can live with for a lifetime.