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St. Luke’s MSTI receives $5M in federal funds

St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute will receive $5 million in federal funding over the next two years to improve cancer care for Idaho’s underserved populations.

Boise-based St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute (MSTI) is among 14 cancer centers chosen by the National Cancer Institute to join a national network of community cancer centers with a shared mission to expand research and care opportunities at hospitals serving largely rural, suburban, small town and underserved populations, St. Luke’s said in a release.

The National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program is using $40 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase the number of its community hospital-based sites from 16 to 30.

St. Luke’s, which applied to the program last fall, must match the $5 million that MSTI receives. St. Luke’s said it has committed to continue funding these efforts once the National Cancer Institute funding is depleted. St. Luke’s said MSTI already has a strong public support for its research funding through donations from individuals and organizations, including the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament, Albertson Foundation, the Randall Wallis Estate and the John Wallace Estate.

St. Luke’s said MSTI will use the funding to:

• Address those in Idaho who are in a low socioeconomic status, are non-English-speaking, and are in a rural area where care is not available or easily accessed.

• Increase the number of clinical research trials offered to patients including Phase 1 clinical trials that are usually done only at academic centers.

• Focus on integrating care between physicians and MSTI sites and other sites across Idaho while collaborating and sharing data with other NCCP participants.

• Improve availability of survivorship and supportive care by adding new staff, including chaplains, physical therapists, nurse practitioners and patient navigators to assist patients in dealing with the symptoms of the disease and treatment and continued support after they have completed treatment.

• Develop collaboration between MSTI pathology department and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center research department to create a frozen cancer tissue bank that will provide samples for ongoing and future cancer research.

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