Virtua and Penn Medicine Announce Strategic Alliance

October 13, 2015 – Virtua and Penn Medicine have announced a strategic alliance for the purpose of creating easier access to care by growing programs in South Jersey supported by both organizations, and by facilitating access to advanced care provided by Penn. The alliance includes programs for cancer and neuroscience.

“When selecting a partner,” said Rich Miller, President and CEO of Virtua, “we wanted one that is local, committed to our region, and known and preferred by our patients.”

 “We are excited to have the opportunity to work with our colleagues at Virtua to provide the greatest number of options for South Jersey patients with cancer and neurological conditions,” said Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. “We understand that patients want to be close to their homes and families when they’re dealing with serious illnesses, and we will be able to provide them with new options to fit together the best plan of care through facilities in both of our health systems.”

A world-renowned leader in cancer treatment, the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania recently received an “exceptional” rating from the National Cancer Institute.  The Abramson Cancer Center has been recognized by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center since 1973, and is one of only 45 institutions in the nation to hold this prestigious designation.

Virtua has a well-regarded and high quality cancer program that has been treating patients in the region for over 20 years. It has received the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award four consecutive times. Only one in ten programs nationwide has been designated with this honor.
These strengths are of significant importance to the families in South Jersey dealing with a diagnosis of cancer. In 2014 alone, almost 4,000 people were diagnosed with cancer at Virtua. And in the next ten years, as Baby Boomers age, the number of patients who depend on Virtua for cancer care is expected to rise significantly.

“This alliance now provides patients with easy access to complex care at Penn Medicine for services like bone marrow transplants, advanced hematology and the latest surgical options, and second opinion services,” said Miller.

“This collaboration,” Miller explained, “will support and strengthen Virtua’s delivery of cancer care which includes programs focused on prevention, diagnosis and treatment. For cancer survivors and their families, we provide services that help them reclaim their lives after cancer treatment.”

The neuroscience collaboration will include treatment of diagnoses such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, brain injury and dementia. Penn doctors will perform surgery at Virtua Memorial Hospital in Burlington County, so patients no longer have to leave the area to obtain specialized surgical procedures.

The alliance will also help reduce duplication of resources, increase efficiencies and decrease health care costs. It will foster collaboration among the medical professionals of both organizations, ensure delivery of care in the appropriate setting, eliminate gaps in care and improve access to services.

Pictured above, from left to right: Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System; Dr. Jonathan Orwitz, Medical Director of Neurology at Virtua; Dr. Sean Grady, Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery at Penn Medicine; and Richard P. Miller, President & CEO at Virtua.