Duke Medicine’s acquisition of three former Cancer Center of North Carolina (CCNC) locations in Raleigh and Cary offers Duke-level oncology care for patients in that rapidly growing regional market. The move provides residents with closer-to-home access to innovative clinical trials and the latest experimental therapies through the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI).
“There are many oncology patients in Raleigh and the outlying area who can benefit from the Duke healthcare system and access to a major medical center and clinical trials,” said medical oncologist Margaret Deutsch, MD, (pictured in the circle above) one of the nine physicians who joined Duke from CCNC. “When you need an expert, or have an unusual illness, or you need a referral to a tertiary care center, the ability to refer directly to Duke is a huge benefit. And with the whole Duke system on a single electronic health record flowing through all the different Duke sites, I think that’s also huge.”
Radiation oncologist Scott Sailer, MD, agreed.
“My patients will benefit from the experience and support of a large academic program, more streamlined referrals to specialists within Duke University, and an upgrade in equipment,” Sailer said. “I am excited to join the Duke Radiation faculty and rejoin an academic practice after spending 15 years in academics at the start of my career.”
The three former CCNC locations – now known as Duke Cancer Center Macon Pond, Duke Cancer Center Cary, and Duke Cancer Center Cary Radiation Oncology – are officially part of DCI and Duke Raleigh Hospital (DRAH). Building on the Duke Cancer Center at Duke Raleigh, this brings the total number of Duke cancer specialists based in Wake County to more than 30 physicians.
“This is a major step forward in our efforts to bring renowned Duke cancer services to Wake County and enable patients to receive Duke cancer care closer to home without leaving Wake County,” said DRAH President David Zaas, MD. “We recognize the importance that cancer patients place on receiving care in their community and now patients can have both the convenience of local Duke care sites and the expertise of one of the country’s leading cancer programs.”
“We are all thrilled to have this wonderful group of cancer physicians and staff as part of the DCI team, partnering with us to deliver the most compassionate and most advanced cancer care to patients in Wake County,” said DCI Executive Director Michael Kastan, MD, PhD. “This is truly cancer care as it should be.”
Wake County patients will benefit from a variety of unique advantages in having access to Duke level cancer services, while community physicians can establish and maintain relationships with providers with roots in community medicine, said Neeraj Agrawal, MD, a former CCNC community oncologist who recently joined Duke Cancer Center Raleigh.
The Duke team in Wake County includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgical sub-specialists offering patient-centered team-based care with the support of disease-specific patient navigators providing the support and encouragement needed when facing a cancer diagnosis.
“This exciting growth allows the Duke Cancer team to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our community physician colleagues to help improve the care we can provide to our community,” Agrawal said.
“This has been a wonderful opportunity to get back to Duke, where I did my training years ago, and to be a part of clinical faculty and involved in clinical research programs of the Division of Medicine,” said medical oncologist William R. Berry, MD, who made the move to Duke from CCNC. “It’s really given me opportunity to do what I really love to do, which is taking care of patients with prostate cancer. I am so impressed with all the personnel from Duke in terms of how very welcoming they have been and how professional they are all in doing their jobs. I am proud to be a part of this organization.”