LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Norton Healthcare and the University of Louisville School of Medicine/James Graham Brown Cancer Center announced today intentions to create a partnership for development of an oncology network — including a new cancer hospital.

    The partnership, which leverages the existing strengths and resources of the two organizations, is being built on both parties’ recent agreement to a formal Letter of Intent. The goals of the partnership include:

    • To achieve designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute by developing basic and clinical research components linked to a regional clinical cancer network.
    • To combine clinical and academic resources of Norton and the University to establish a state-of-the-art adult cancer hospital with ancillary services, available to both private and university faculty physicians.
    • To coordinate and expand the network of Cancer services throughout a region with higher than normal incidence of some types of cancer.
    • To develop and implement education programs for tomorrow’s healthcare clinicians.

    The University of Louisville and Norton Healthcare will share governance responsibilities for the new cancer hospital.

    “This partnership will be great news for cancer patients throughout the region,” commented Dr. Dan Varga, chief medical officer at Norton Healthcare. “By linking the renowned and extensive clinical care and research expertise of Norton Cancer Center with the unmatched bench research at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, our patients will realize the benefits of an outstanding, comprehensive regional cancer program.”

    Dr. Don Miller, director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at U of L, agreed. “Our cancer research program is already growing tremendously. This partnership will help take that research to the next level almost immediately.”

    This announcement is the culmination of many months of discussions, and it symbolizes a continued spirit of teamwork and collaboration between two market leaders.

    “This partnership is the end result of many years of work to bring to life [former Louisville Mayor] Wilson Wyatt’s vision for a world class cancer center in Louisville,” University of Louisville President John Shumaker explained. “I’m certain that, as a founding father of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and a national figure in supporting cancer research and care, Mayor Wyatt would be proud today.”

    “This is a collaboration between our region’s best names in cancer care, and that means good things for our patients, our physicians, and our community,” said Stephen A. Williams, Norton Healthcare president and chief executive officer.

    “We also anticipate that this partnership will attract prospective researchers and physicians who are looking for a unique and dynamic academic healthcare environment in which to work,” added Dr. Joel Kaplan, dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville.

    Current plans call for this cancer hospital to be located at the Norton Healthcare Pavilion at the corner of Broadway and Preston streets in the Louisville Medical Center. These details will be finalized during negotiations, which are projected for completion in April.