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September 23, 2003

Debbie Neufert
Media Relations, LHSC
519-685-8500, ext. 74772

London Health Sciences Centre gives green light to integrating cancer care

(LONDON, Ontario) Cancer care at the London Regional Cancer Centre (LRCC) will soon be integrated with London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). Tony Dagnone, LHSC President and CEO, announced today that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved an agreement with Cancer Care Ontario to integrate cancer care with the hospital. The agreement paves the way for the London Regional Cancer Centre (LRCC) to integrate with LHSC effective January 1, 2004.

"This is a turning point in the history of LHSC and LRCC, who have worked successfully in collaboration for many years in providing quality cancer care," says Tony Dagnone, LHSC President and CEO. Dagnone adds, "The new integrated cancer program will build on existing strengths in patient care, education and research, which are recognized for excellence across Southwestern Ontario and around the globe."

"This integration will enable coordination of care for our patients, from prevention and diagnosis through treatment and supportive care," says, Dr. Michael Sherar, Vice-President, Integrated Cancer Program.

"We look forward to the positive impact the integrated cancer program will have, and how it will further strengthen the delivery of cancer care in our community and region," says Dan Ross, LHSC Board Chair.

Currently, most outpatient cancer care is delivered at LRCC and most inpatient cancer care is provided at London Health Sciences Centre. That will remain unchanged even after integration begins next year. No job losses are expected at either LHSC or LRCC as a result of the integration agreement, which was developed in co-operation with Cancer Care Ontario.

LHSC is one of eleven hospitals across Ontario in the process of integrating cancer programs. The move comes following the announcement by the province in May 2002 to integrate regional cancer care programs with Cancer Care Ontario's host hospitals.