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Laura Blodgett, Media Relations
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System receives $10 million grantfrom National Cancer Institute to lead the Michigan Cancer Research Consortium
Start Date
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System receives $10 million grant
from National Cancer Institute to lead the
Michigan Cancer Research Consortium
Grant enables the consortium to participate in groundbreaking clinical trials

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – (Aug. 11, 2014) – Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) Michigan Cancer Research Consortium (MCRC) has been awarded a grant for more than $10 million as part of the National Cancer Institute's Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), a national network of organizations that provide cancer care to diverse populations in community-based healthcare practices across the United States.

After a highly competitive process, the MCRC was selected as one of 34 community sites across the country to receive the 5-year NCORP grant enabling patients throughout the 13-hospital consortium to participate in cutting-edge clinical trials offering access to the top cancer treatments available. Trials currently underway include utilizing promising targeted agents based on the genomics of the patient's tumor, cancer vaccines and new radiation strategies to treat cancer. Trials evaluating methods to reduce the side effects of cancer treatments and improve quality of life are also an important goal of the NCORP.

In addition, the MCRC-- led by SJMHS-- is participating in the latest cancer care delivery research to examine the most effective and efficient methods of delivering cancer care, including how to overcome lack of access in some underserved communities.

"For patients to be able to take part in the highest quality research treatments right in their own communities is a tremendous opportunity," said Philip Stella, MD, principal investigator, Michigan Cancer Research Consortium, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. "At the same time, we are assisting the National Cancer Institute to increase their access to real world health care delivery in the community, where the majority of cancer patients receive their care."

The Michigan Cancer Research Consortium grant application received the highest grant impact score, which demonstrates the strength of its oncology research program and recognition by grant reviewers that MCRC can successfully assist the National Cancer Institute to improve cancer outcomes in the communities served.

"We have built great infrastructure and expanded capabilities to our cancer research program, while developing relationships with hospitals and health systems across Michigan and in Idaho and Connecticut to help more communities gain access to top-notch cancer care," said Beth LaVasseur, RN, MS, Director of Oncology Research and Operations, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.

All of the grant dollars will be used to fund infrastructure and staff, who will assist patients to participate in more than 120 clinical trials that are available. Participating locations include:

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor*
St. Joseph Mercy Brighton*
St. Joseph Mercy Canton*
St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea*
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland*
St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron*
St Mary Mercy Livonia*
and all the Michigan Cancer Research Consortium hospitals including:

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center – Hartford Connecticut
Saint Alphonsus Health System- Boise, Idaho*
Sparrow Health System- Lansing
St. Mary's of Michigan and Covenant Health Care- Saginaw
St. John Hospital and Medical Center- Detroit
St John Macomb- Oakland Hospital- Warren
Oakwood Healthcare- Dearborn
Genesys Hurley Cancer Institute- Flint
Allegiance Health – Jackson

*denotes a CHE Trinity hospital

The NCORP replaces two previous National Cancer Institute (NCI) community-based clinical research programs: the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) and the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP). SJMHS was awarded grants in both of those programs.

For more information including a list of current clinical trials, call 734-712 5658 or visit

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About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving six counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 164-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, and 113-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea. Combined, the six hospitals are licensed for 1,697 beds, have six outpatient health centers, five urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 3,200 physicians. SJMHS has annual operating revenues of about $1.9 billion and returns $127 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs.

SJMHS is a member of CHE Trinity Health, the second largest Catholic health care system in the country. Based in Livonia, Mich., CHE Trinity Health operates in 20 states, employs nearly 87,000 people, has annual operating revenues of about $13.3 billion and assets of about $19.3 billion. Additionally, the new organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs.

For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit