L+M, Dana-Farber to partner in $35 million cancer center

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital supporters pack the hall outside the Uncas Ballroom during the opening reception of the hospital’s Centennial Celebration Saturday at Mohegan Sun.
Lawrence + Memorial Hospital supporters pack the hall outside the Uncas Ballroom during the opening reception of the hospital’s Centennial Celebration Saturday at Mohegan Sun. Tim Cook/The Day

Mohegan — Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have reached an agreement to partner in a new $35 million cancer center scheduled to open in 2013 in Waterford.

L+M President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Cummings announced the partnership Saturday night during the hospital's 100th anniversary celebration at Mohegan Sun.

"It's official. It's been the poorest-kept secret for a very long time," Cummings said. "It will be an affiliation that will offer an unprecedented range and depth of cancer services right here in our own backyard."

A June 21 groundbreaking is scheduled for the site at Cross Road.

An affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber is a world-renowned cancer treatment facility whose mission is "to provide expert, compassionate care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of cancer and related diseases," according to its website.

Also announced was the formation of the Yale-New Haven Heart and Vascular Center at L+M. Yale-New Haven Hospital and L+M already have partnerships in radiation, oncology, neonatal and pediatric emergency services, among others.

L+M also will strengthen its relationship with the Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital for advanced cardiovascular care, Cummings said. The addition of elective angioplasty procedures builds on the successful relationship between the two for emergency angioplasty services, he said.

The partnership also will make enhanced services available at L+M for patients with vascular diseases and advanced cardiac conditions, he said.

Cummings initiated talks about a possible affiliation with Dana-Farber in 2010.

"Lawrence and Memorial is intrigued by the model of care the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute uses, and we've had very positive discussions with them about possibly bringing this model of care to eastern Connecticut," Kelly Anthony, an L+M spokesman at the time, said in July 2010.

The 100th anniversary gala, one of the largest fundraising events the region has seen in recent years, drew about 2,000 guests. The event was the culmination of the hospital's birthday celebration and attracted donors, staff and members of the community.

The party was the largest event ever held at Mohegan Sun's convention center, according to Bruce "Two Dogs" Bozsum, Mohegan tribal chairman.

j.benson@theday.com

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