St. David's HealthCare June 16, 2014

St. David’s CancerCare Includes New Oncology Unit, Outpatient Clinic Space and Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center

AUSTIN, TX—On May 29, 2014, St. David’s HealthCare announced St. David’s CancerCare—a more coordinated and comprehensive approach to providing cancer services in Central Texas. St. David’s CancerCare—a partnership between St. David’s HealthCare and Sarah Cannon—is designed to provide integrated oncology care for patients within St. David’s HealthCare facilities. Sarah Cannon is the global cancer enterprise of HCA (Hospital Corporation of America) which facilitates a full range of physician-led, patient-centric integrated cancer care services in local markets and offers the highest level of quality standards, infrastructure, training and research for patients with cancer treated within affiliated partner facilities.

As part of St. David’s CancerCare, St. David’s HealthCare is opening a new oncology floor at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center dedicated to supporting oncology care. The new oncology floor will include 24 patient beds for cancer patients; a surgical oncology unit with universal beds, which will allow patients to stay in the same room from post-surgery to discharge; and a general oncology unit. It will also feature the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center for patients with blood cancers.

“In spite of the rhetoric in the community that Central Texans need to leave the region for cancer care, a vast array of oncology services has been available in Austin for some time, and today, we are closing the gap with the launch of St. David’s CancerCare,” David Huffstutler, president and chief executive officer of St. David’s HealthCare, said. “Working together with Texas Transplant Institute, Texas Oncology and Sarah Cannon, we are redefining the level and quality of cancer care that is available here in Central Texas.”

“As part of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Network of Excellence, St. David’s HealthCare offers patients access to a top-notch facility with exceptional physicians who provide a quality continuum of care, from screening and diagnosis through treatment and survivorship,” Fred LeMaistre, M.D., vice president and physician in chief of hematology for Sarah Cannon, said. “The level of cancer care expertise available in Austin allows patients to stay close to home and their support system, which is essential to every cancer journey.”

The new oncology space at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center will provide patients in the Austin region with a wide array of cancer services, including blood and marrow transplants (BMTs), allowing them to receive specialized care in Austin. It will feature physicians and nurses specially trained to treat cancer patients, customized oncology technology, oncology-trained nurse navigators, as well as nutrition and education services for cancer patients. It will also include an apartment-style waiting room and private consultation rooms for family members.

The cancer unit will also feature the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, which is uniquely structured to address the needs of Central Texas by bringing together recognized physician leadership in oncology care from Texas Oncology and Texas Transplant Institute®, a department of Methodist Hospital.

“When healthcare leaders work together to deliver integrated and leading-edge cancer treatment, patients in the Austin area benefit. That spirit of cooperation and collaboration created the opportunity to provide the full continuum of care for blood and bone marrow transplant patients, which is a major step forward in cancer care for central Texas,” Laurence Tokaz, M.D., Texas Oncology and medical director for the blood cancer center, said. “We are committed to exploring more opportunities to work with St. David’s HealthCare to bring even more advancements to patients here in our community.”

As part of this program, the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center performed its first adult hematopoietic stem cell transplant*—a type of BMT—earlier this year. The BMT procedure was performed on a 60-year-old woman with multiple myeloma. To date, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center has performed 12 BMTs, with seven additional procedures scheduled—exceeding its original estimate of seven in its first year.

The individual programs that form the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network—a collaborative network of the country’s preeminent sites for blood cancer treatment—have long been recognized as national leaders in patient care and outcomes.

“The new oncology unit will allow us to provide cancer patients with coordinated, integrated oncology care, increasing the level of quality and ultimately improving patient outcomes,” Todd Steward, chief executive officer of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, said. “We are pleased to be able to bring this level of specialized cancer care to the Austin region.”

Adult BMT services—previously considered a missing link in cancer care services in Austin—are a result of the partnership between St. David’s HealthCare, Sarah Cannon, Texas Transplant Institute and Texas Oncology.

“Patients with blood cancers used to have to travel out of town for this procedure, where they would have to stay for many weeks, if not months,” Carlos R. Bachier, M.D., program director of the Adult and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Program at the Texas Transplant Institute and medical director of the new blood and marrow transplant program, said. “With this new service, Austin-area patients with blood cancers no longer have to live out of town for long periods of time—or travel long distances—for care.”

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is also moving its outpatient clinic for adult patients who have blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma—as well as those who have received or will receive a BMT—to a new, larger space that is specifically designed for oncology patients. The new clinic space will provide patients with an outside entrance so they do not have to walk through the main hospital to get to the clinic while in an immuno-compromised state. The clinic, which opened in May 2013, will transition into its new space in June 2014.

The Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center is currently performing autologous transplants—procedures in which a patient’s own stem cells are used during the transplant. It will begin offering allogeneic transplants—a procedure in which donor stem cells are used—in the near future.

The new oncology unit is located on the 6th floor of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center. The 6th floor was built during an expansion project that was completed in 2011.

*Hematopoietic stem cell transplants involve hematopoietic stem cells, not embryonic stem cells.

St. David’s HealthCare

With more than 90 sites across Central Texas, St. David’s HealthCare includes seven of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. Known for compassionate, high-quality care, the organization has been recognized with the Texas Award for Performance Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the State of Texas based upon world-class quality measures. In 2014, two of the system’s facilities—St. David’s Medical Center and St. David’s North Austin Medical Center—were named among the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters), a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. St. David’s HealthCare was also recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in 2012. Additionally, St. David’s Medical Center—which includes Heart Hospital of Austin—was named a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital for 2013. Perennially ranked as the top Austin-area employer among large companies by the Austin Business Journal’s annual “Best Places to Work” survey, St. David’s HealthCare is the fourth-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 8,100 employees. For more information, please visit

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center

St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, located at 901 West Ben White Boulevard, is part of St. David’s HealthCare, one of the largest health systems in Texas, which was recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in January 2012. St. David's South Austin Medical Center is an acute care facility with 304 beds, offering a range of complex specialties and sub-specialties, including specialized cancer services, a comprehensive and nationally recognized cardiac program, full-service maternity and newborn care with Level I and II nurseries, a thriving 24-hour emergency department, and two full-service emergency centers in the communities of Bee Cave and Bastrop. The medical center recently completed a comprehensive, $72-million renovation and expansion project. For more information, please visit

Sarah Cannon Cancer Network of Excellence

Sarah Cannon is the cancer service line of St. David’s HealthCare’s parent company, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), which advances science and transforms care in communities across the United States and United Kingdom. While the care service line was launched in 2011, Sarah Cannon has had a rich history in clinical research beginning in 1993 when its research investigators brought clinical trials into the community setting. The global network’s cancer care reach includes individualized patient navigation provided by oncology-trained nurse navigators, experience with more than 130 first-in-man clinical trials conducted, more than 850 stem cell transplants performed annually throughout the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network and the first community-based molecular profiling program. Through its programs, the Sarah Cannon Cancer Network of Excellence is providing state-of-the- art cancer care close to home for hundreds of thousands of patients, a number unmatched by any single cancer center. To learn more about Sarah Cannon, go to

Texas Oncology

Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment and therapy options available to help patients achieve “More breakthroughs. More victories.”® in their fights against cancer. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern Oklahoma. Texas Breast Specialists and Texas Urology Specialists, which focus on all areas of breast and urologic care, are a part of Texas Oncology.

Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. Texas Oncology participates in innovative clinical trials from Phase I through Phase IV through US Oncology Research, which has helped to develop 48 FDA approved cancer therapies.

Texas Oncology is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest community-based cancer treatment and research networks focused on advancing cancer care in America. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, Texas Oncology is united with more than 1,000 physicians and 10,000 cancer professionals nationwide. The US Oncology Network is supported by McKesson Specialty Health.

For more information, visit or call 1-888-864-I CAN (4226).

Texas Transplant Institute

The Texas Transplant Institute at San Antonio’s Methodist Hospital serves both adults and children from across the United States and Latin America with evidence-based therapies that give hope to patients with blood cancers and other forms of blood diseases. The adult program, housed at Methodist Hospital, is one of the largest programs in the United States – over 2,000 blood and marrow stem cell transplants have been performed since 1993. The program physicians have extensive experience performing autologous and allogeneic transplants including related, unrelated and umbilical cord blood transplants. It was the first program in North America accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT) and has remained accredited ever since.

Methodist Healthcare System – San Antonio

Methodist Healthcare System – San Antonio is the largest provider of health care in South and Central Texas with 26 facilities including nine hospitals serving 90,000 inpatients and 390,000 outpatients annually. The Methodist Healthcare team is comprised of 8,000 employees, making Methodist Healthcare the second largest private employer in San Antonio. In 2012, Methodist Healthcare was one of only two hospitals in Texas recognized by the Texas Medical Foundation with a Gold Award for Quality. Methodist Healthcare has won the National Research Foundation’s Consumer Choice Award for 13 consecutive years, more times than any other health care provider in Texas. For the past four years, Methodist Healthcare has received the “Best Hospital” Gold Award by the San Antonio Express-News’ Readers’ Choice Awards. Methodist Healthcare is the first health care system in South Texas and only the third organization in San Antonio to receive the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) since its inception twenty years ago. With more than 2,700 credentialed physicians, Methodist Healthcare provides the largest array of medical services in the region including neurosurgery, cardiovascular services, oncology and women’s services. Visit to learn more.