The UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network of community oncology programs has expanded to include Barton Health in Lake Tahoe and Ridgecrest Regional Hospital in the southeastern Sierra.

UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network
UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network

The affiliations will enhance access to oncology services for patients in less urban areas who otherwise might have to travel hours to receive leading-edge cancer care.

The Cancer Care Network, launched in 2008, also includes Rideout Cancer Center in Marysville, Mercy Cancer Center in Merced, Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center in Truckee and AIS Cancer Center in Bakersfield.

“We are so pleased to welcome Barton Health and Ridgecrest Regional Hospital into our Cancer Care Network,” said UC Davis Medical Center CEO Ann Madden Rice. “Working together we can provide these communities with the latest discoveries in cancer care they need in a way that allows patients to stay close to home.”

As part of the affiliation with UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, Barton Health is launching Barton Oncology. Barton Health patients, who until now have received cancer care at Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, will have access to diagnostic and follow-up oncology visits at Barton. Thomas Semrad, a medical oncologist formerly at UC Davis, will split his time providing oncology care at Barton and Tahoe Forest.

Barton Health also will have access to UC Davis’ clinical trials and their cases will be discussed during virtual tumor board meetings of oncologists, pathologists, surgeons and other cancer experts.

“We are excited to launch Barton Oncology and become a member of the UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network," said Barton Health CEO and President Clint Purvance. “It is an honor to be affiliated with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center and provide additional cancer services for patients in the South Lake Tahoe region and beyond.”

Barton’s medical imaging department plans to open a women’s suite in February, which will feature additional equipment, a patient-friendly layout and advanced technology, including a 3D tomography system for mammograms. Barton also will offer a stereotactic breast biopsy for patients with suspicious lesions.

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital’s immediate plans are to recruit an oncologist and provide oncology services in the hospital’s outpatient pavilion. Ultimately they hope to build a cancer center and radiation oncology services.

“Keeping top-notch cancer treatment in Ridgecrest, without driving out of town, is our ultimate goal,” said CEO Jim Suver. “It is an honor to be affiliated with the Cancer Care Network. We believe the affiliation will enhance our capabilities, while lending advanced knowledge and skill to cancer diagnostics and follow-up for the residents of our community.” 

Kay Harse, the network manager, said both sites will benefit from training for nurses provided by UC Davis oncology nurses, implementation of quality improvement systems and standards of oncology care.

“The Cancer Care Network was created to provide access to clinical trials and treatment expertise to community hospitals throughout inland Northern California,” said Primo Lara, Jr., interim director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We look forward to bringing world-class cancer care closer to home for these two communities.”