BMC Named First Member of New Dana-Farber/

BOSTON — Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently announced they have named Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) Cancer Center as the first member of the new Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Care Collaborative (DF/BWCCC) following review by the Mass. Health Policy Commission.

Membership in the collaborative will signify Berkshire Medical Center’s commitment to excellence in cancer care by meeting a wide array of standards and best practices. In addition, BMC staff will have access to educational opportunities and medical specialists at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston.

As part of the membership process, DF/BWCCC clinicians and other specialists conducted an extensive review of Berkshire Medical Center’s outpatient medical oncology practices and procedures, including patient-safety protocols, nursing and pharmacy practices, chemotherapy administration, and information systems.

“Our overall mission is to help relieve the burden of cancer for as many people as possible,” said Dr. Edward Benz Jr., president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “Sometimes that is by research to help create better preventative and diagnostic capabilities and therapies, sometimes by caring for patients ourselves, and now, by working with others, like Berkshire Medical Center, to continue to provide great care close to home. We are excited by the prospect of establishing the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Care Collaborative with such a strong and high-quality partner as Berkshire Medical Center.”

This collaborative is primarily about reviewing practices and standards at Berkshire Medical Center and providing educational opportunities for caregivers. However, DF/BWCCC physicians may provide medical-oncology-specialty second-opinion clinics on site at Berkshire Medical Center.

Berkshire enhanced its cancer services and opened the Berkshire Medical Center Cancer Center in January 2014.

“Berkshire Medical Center Cancer Center is pleased it has been selected to be the inaugural member of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Care Collaborative,” said David Phelps, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems. “I am very proud of our clinical teams and staff that provide high-quality care to our community — care that meets the rigorous standards set by the collaborative. We are all certain that this new relationship will create a formal link between the institutions to benefit our patients and our community, and ensure the best future for cancer care in the Berkshire area.”

The practices and procedures of DF/BWCCC members are reviewed annually to ensure that high standards are maintained.