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Intermountain Healthcare to join Northwest Community Oncology Research Program

Cancer research study expanding across four states

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, February 5, 2016 / -- MultiCare Health System welcomes Intermountain Healthcare as a partner on the Northwest NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NW NCORP) program.

In 2014 MultiCare received a $4.2 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to offer cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research protocols in a community setting. Now, with the addition of Intermountain Healthcare, initiatives designed to accelerate and expand local access to cancer clinical trials for patients of all ages will now span across four states including Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and Utah. Oncologist Craig Nichols, MD, will lead the Intermountain team by providing oversight of cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research. Intermountain is an integrated healthcare system that includes 22 hospitals in Utah and Southern Idaho.

MultiCare Oncologist Jack Keech, DO, and Oncologist Craig Nichols, MD (formerly with Virginia Mason) have been working together on the NW NCORP since the beginning of this project. Now, with Dr. Nichols transition to Intermountain, they will continue to increase opportunities for research in our communities and improve the care we provide our patients.

The overall goal of the National Cancer Institute NCORP program is to ensure cancer clinical trials, as well as cancer delivery research, are available in cancer patients’ home communities. This focus on community-based programs is expected to generate a broadly applicable evidence base that contributes to improved patient outcomes by hastening the transfer of knowledge from research into clinical practice.

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 85 percent of cancer patients are treated in their communities. More than 37,000 Washington residents are diagnosed with cancer annually. The disease is the leading cause of death in Washington, accounting for about 24 percent of all deaths statewide. More than 9,200 Utah residences are diagnosed with a malignant cancer annually. The disease is the second leading cause of death in Utah, just below heart disease, accounting for about 19 percent of all deaths statewide.

About MultiCare Health System

MultiCare Health System, based in Tacoma, WA, is a not-for-profit health care organization with five hospitals, more than 10,000 employees and more than 100 sites of specialty, primary and urgent care throughout Pierce, South King, Thurston and Kitsap counties. Our heritage dates to the founding of Tacoma’s first hospital in 1882. In response to our growing community’s needs, we have built an integrated health network that offers skilled, personal care for every stage of life. MultiCare Health System has been recognized for the care we provide, as well as our commitment to patients, investment in technology and involvement in the community.

About Intermountain Healthcare

Intermountain Healthcare is a Utah-based, not-for-profit system of 22 hospitals, 185 clinics, a Medical Group with some 1,300 employed physicians, a health plans division called SelectHealth, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in clinical quality improvement and in efficient healthcare delivery. For more information about Intermountain, visit, read our blogs at, connect with us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

Daron Cowley
Intermountain Healthcare
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