MultiCare’s Institute for Research & Innovation, Community Cancer Fund Partner with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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 and Spokane’s 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). It 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, as well as cancer patients who have been receiving care during the pandemic.

“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,” said David O’Brien, MD, senior vice president & chief executive of MultiCare’s Inland Northwest Region. “This study will provide insights and data to help us remove any unnecessary barriers so all members of our community can receive great health care. I am thrilled that MultiCare’s Institute of Research and Innovation has the opportunity to collaborate in spearheading this work.”

“Collaboration was key for this project to be able to take shape,” said Jerid Keefer, co-founder of the Community Cancer Fund. “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,” he said. “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 a notification when the study is open to enrollment by contacting MultiCare’s Insitute for Research & Innovation at research@multicare.org.

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