Ellis Medicine will no longer partner with New York Oncology Hematology and assume the daily operations of its Rexford Cancer Center.
The two organizations announced last year they would enter into a partnership that would have Ellis assume ownership of the center at 896 Riverview Road. Ellis was going to expand its outpatient radiation services to the cancer center, which would be renamed Ellis Medicine Cancer Care Center.
The idea was to put all of a local patient’s specialists — including oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and pathologists — under one roof with all of the region’s best technologies and services to simplify and help determine the best course of treatment.
Ellis Medicine, through spokesman Matthew Van Pelt, said no discussions are being held at this time to reach another agreement.
“Ellis Medicine and New York Oncology Hematology have long worked together to provide quality cancer care services to our community,” said a statement issued Wednesday. “We entered these discussions with a longstanding relationship and a shared commitment to our community, and we ended discussions with that same relationship and commitment.”
Ellis Medicine officials declined to answer further questions, in particular about why the two organizations couldn’t reach an agreement. Vice President of Clinical Services Wendy Rosher helped formulate the proposed partnership last year, but was unavailable to speak about the failed agreement Tuesday and Wednesday, and her secretary referred The Daily Gazette on Wednesday afternoon to the hospital’s prepared statement, which had yet to be released.
NYOH Executive Director Edwin Graham said Wednesday both organizations had looked at a way to make the plan work, but couldn’t work something out “to the interest of both parties.” He declined to comment further on any sticking points that caused the agreement to fail, but said it wasn’t on NYOH’s side of the table.
“We’re disappointed that things didn’t work out in one sense,” said Graham, “but we value Ellis Hospital. They’re an important provider in our community, just as we are, and we’re going to continue to collaborate and work with each other as it makes sense to best meet the needs of our community.”
Ellis Medicine submitted a Certificate of Need application to the state Department of Health last August, requesting permission to operate the Rexford center. The application was approved in January, but withdrawn June 14, according to Department of Health records.
NYOH has more than 300 employees at its seven care centers throughout the Capital Region that treat patients with cancer or blood-related disorders. The Rexford center employs five physicians and several dozen other staff members and provides services that range from hematology, medical and radiation oncology to infusion therapy, chemotherapy, diagnostic CTs and hereditary risk assessments.