Oncology Group Announces New Fresno Cancer Center

cCARE collaborates with Saint Agnes to build a new comprehensive cancer center in Fresno, managed by cCARE, on the grounds of the existing Saint Agnes Cancer Center.


Fresno, CA, August 18, 2016 – California Cancer Associates for Research and Excellence (cCARE), California’s largest independent group of cancer and hematology doctors, has announced plans to develop a 65,000-square-foot cancer center with Saint Agnes Medical Center on its campus in Fresno. The comprehensive outpatient center will offer cancer care and hematology services that include radiation therapy, a high-complexity medical lab, chemotherapy, imaging and a physician dispensing program for oral oncology drugs.

cCARE, which boasts more clinical trials than some academic medical centers, expects the new center to be the largest and most advanced of its kind in California’s Central Valley managed by a private medical practice.

Planning between cCARE and Saint Agnes has been underway for months and builds upon an existing relationship and strong commitment of both parties to create an extraordinary patient experience.

“Healing body, mind and spirit has been our mission for more than eight decades,” said Nancy Hollingsworth, CEO of Saint Agnes Medical Center. “Our commitment to providing the very best in cancer care has never wavered and we are excited to align even more closely with this exceptional group of physicians.”

Plans call for a 31,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of Saint Agnes’ existing Cancer Center, where physicians from cCARE have been practicing for more than 20 years. Construction, which will take place in stages, is scheduled to break ground in October 2016, with a projected duration of 12 to 15 months.

Saint Agnes Medical Center will continue to provide a full range of inpatient medical and surgical cancer services, as well as outpatient supportive services, including genetic counseling, social and nutritional services, an adult sickle cell clinic, a nurse navigator program and lymphedema treatment.

The new facility will be called ‘cCARE at Saint Agnes’ and will be independently managed and operated by cCARE, a private practice of 25 physicians and 10 nurse practitioners. The staff and operations from cCARE’s two current Fresno locations on East Fir and North Millbrook avenues will merge into one cCARE at Saint Agnes cancer center. cCARE will also continue to operate its seven other locations in the San Diego area.

“Our physicians, nurse practitioners, and staff will continue working shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues at Saint Agnes as well as at other hospitals throughout southern and central California,” said Troy Simon, cCARE’s chief executive officer.

Officials at cCARE say that a primary objective of the center’s planning is improving the patient experience. To accomplish this, a small team of cCARE managers visited other cancer/hematology centers throughout the United States to ensure bringing best practices to the new center.

“Our goal with the new facility is to create an atmosphere that’s less clinical and more comforting,” said Irene Lustria, cCARE’s chief operations officer. “Plans for the clinic focus on providing a peaceful and soothing ambiance with natural lighting and distinct decor.”

Included in the new space will be a high-complexity medical lab; newly renovated state-of-the-art infusion area providing privacy for each patient, with oncology certified nursing staff overseeing their care; a physician dispensing program for oral oncolytics, providing convenience for patients; expanded radiation oncology suites; and two PET (positron emission tomography) machines – a type of advanced imaging equipment that doctors consider the gold standard in assessing the location and extent of cancer.

In planning for the center it was important to incorporate patient feedback to improve the patient experience, Lustria said. Special amenities in the explorative stage include a small café, a boutique for helping patients select wigs and bra prosthetics, and small conference rooms for support groups and workshops.

About cCARE

California Cancer Associates for Research and Excellence, cCARE, is the largest full-service private oncology and hematology practice in California. cCARE delivers the highest quality medical oncology, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, supplemented by a large research and clinical trials program. With nine clinical and business offices in the San Diego and Fresno areas, and one urology clinic in La Jolla, patients receive thorough, compassionate and convenient treatment no matter where they call home. For more information visit www.ccare.com.

About Saint Agnes Medical Center

Founded by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, circa 1929, Saint Agnes Medical Center has built its 87-year healing legacy on caring for Central Valley residents with the highest level of compassion and quality. The 436-bed acute care hospital is well respected for its clinical and service excellence and has been selected by consumers as the region’s Consumer Choice Award Winner for 20 consecutive years. From emergency, diagnostic, surgical and obstetric services to state-of-the-art cardiac, cancer, and orthopedic care, Saint Agnes combines the most advanced equipment and technology with the expertise of top-ranked physicians and staff to meet the Valley’s growing and diverse healthcare needs. Saint Agnes is a member of Trinity Health, one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare delivery systems in the United States. For more information, please visit www.samc.com.