Originally published by MultiCare Health System on Aug. 13, 2020

MultiCare is pleased to announce that its Institute for Research & Innovation has been awarded funding to conduct a statewide cancer data project. The Andy Hill Cancer Research Endowment (CARE) Fund has selected the MultiCare Institute for Research & Innovation (MIRI), and Community Cancer Fund (CCF), in partnership with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to undertake a statewide data project to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care, with particular emphasis on low income groups and underrepresented minorities. 

The project, which is set to begin in September, will be a collaboration between MultiCare, CCF, and the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR) and will ultimately result in a rich statewide COVID-19 and Cancer Research Data Repository, with information on care, outcomes, and experiences for cancer patients in Washington State during the COVID-19 pandemic, to inform future cancer research. 

The study will also be a community effort, with all parties relying on the involvement of hospital systems and oncology physician practices across the state and cancer patients who have been receiving care during the pandemic.

Dr. David O’Brien, Senior Vice President & Chief Executive of MultiCare’s Inland Northwest Region said,

“One of MultiCare’s goals has been to expand access to high-quality health care and research to more people in our state, especially to underrepresented minorities and individuals who might fall into a lower socioeconomic bracket. This study will provide insights and data to help us remove any unnecessary barriers so all members in our community can receive great health care.”

He added,

“I am thrilled that MultiCare’s Institute of Research and Innovation has the opportunity to collaborate in spearheading this work.”

Commenting on the collaborative efforts of this project, Jerid Keefer, Co-Founder of Community Cancer Fund said,

“Collaboration was key for this project to be able to take shape. We are delighted that we will be able to assist in the collection of statewide data that our medical partners can access in future years, and particularly that we will be able to work with these same medical partners to make sure Eastern Washington patients are represented in this study.  CCF has been focused on working with all of our medical partners to raise the level of cancer research taking place in this region, we believe this is a great step in that direction.”

He credited MultiCare’s dedication to research across its network, citing studies such as this one, as a key component to raising the level of cancer research conducted in the Inland Northwest.

“MultiCare has been a huge asset to our community in so many ways. This is just another great example of that.”

There will be more information on this study to come, including how many patients will be enrolled and how patients can participate. Once more information is available, it will be released on multicare.org/research. Interested participants can sign up to receive notification when the study is open to enrollment by contacting MIRI at research@multicare.org.

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About MultiCare

MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 18,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. MultiCare has been caring for our community for well over a century, since the founding of Tacoma’s first hospital and today is the largest community-based, locally governed health system in the state of Washington.

MultiCare’s comprehensive system of health includes numerous primary care, urgent care and specialty services — including MultiCare Indigo Urgent CarePulse Heart Institute and MultiCare Rockwood Clinic, the largest multispecialty clinic in the Inland Northwest region.

MultiCare’s network of care includes 10 hospitals:

About Community Cancer Fund

Founded in 2014, Community Cancer Fund is dedicated to providing necessary resources to cancer patients, their families, and the Inland Northwest organizations that serve them.

Community Cancer Fund was founded by a group of passionate community leaders determined to fight cancer at the local level. Moved by its own experiences with cancer, this group is determined to devote more resources to cancer screening, prevention, research, treatment and care in the Inland Northwest. Through our regional partnerships, we work collaboratively to identify and fund gaps in services and local programs that benefit cancer patients and their families.