MD Anderson Cancer Center - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is happening between Covenant HealthCare and MD Anderson Cancer Network?
Covenant HealthCare is Michigan’s first and only certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. A world-renowned leader in cancer care, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is recognized as one of the best cancer hospitals– it has been ranked in the top two cancer centers in the nation since the U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” survey began 25 years ago.

2. What does this mean for Covenant?
The affiliation with MD Anderson Cancer Network allows Covenant HealthCare to bring new hope to local cancer patients close to their homes by providing access to treatment guidelines and best practices developed by MD Anderson.

3. What does this mean for the Covenant Oncology team?
This affiliation builds on Covenant’s successes. The entire team will benefit from our new relationship with MD Anderson Cancer Network. MD Anderson Cancer Center’s evidence-based clinical guidelines and best practices are now Covenant’s practices, and the oncology team has access to: 

  • Routine video conferences with MD Anderson physicians
  • Participation of Covenant physicians in MD Anderson's tumor boards
  • Consultative peer-to-peer second opinions
  • Expanded educational opportunities
  • Collaborative opportunities with other certified members of MD Anderson Cancer Network

4. What does this mean for local patients?
As a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network, Covenant is utilizing MD Anderson’s renowned clinical standards and expertise to elevate the quality of care for patients in the region. Joining forces with the network will allow Covenant to offer patients access to the latest in evidence-based care from one of the leading cancer centers in the U.S. We know that cancer often reaches a stage where a patient may wish to seek another opinion. Covenant can now provide them access to the most advanced treatment protocols for their particular cancer condition and, when possible, still allow them to remain close to home and their family. In the future, patients can benefit from Covenant’s access to select MD Anderson clinical trials.

5. What makes MD Anderson an expert in cancer care?
Created in 1941, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is one of the world’s most respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. It is located in central Houston in the Texas Medical Center. The institution is one of the nation’s original three comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Act of 1971 and is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers today. In Fiscal Year 2014, MD Anderson’s 20,000-plus cancer fighters provided care for more than 127,000 patients, with the largest clinical trial program in the nation.

6. Why is MD Anderson Cancer Network offering Covenant an affiliation?
MD Anderson’s mission is to eliminate cancer not only in Texas, but across the nation and the world. To fulfill their mission, they saw the opportunity to bring a new level in cancer care to other parts of the country through relationships with local community healthcare providers. Currently, Covenant is the 12th certified member of the MD Anderson Cancer Network.

7. How did this affiliation come about?
Covenant wanted an affiliation with an established and proven National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center to enhance the ability to provide state-of-the-art cancer care to patients with even more emphasis on quality and safety. Covenant also wanted to provide patients with access to subspecialty expertise, more clinical trials, and more individualized choice of treatment. With compatible missions and a history of providing high-quality care, the affiliation between MD Anderson Cancer Network and Covenant was a great fit. 

8. Does this mean patients will be transferred to Texas for care or teleconferenced into MD Anderson cancer specialists?
No. Patients’ care will be provided by Covenant HealthCare cancer specialists, right here in Michigan. In rare cases, patients may be referred to an MD Anderson physician in Houston for further treatment.

9. Isn't Covenant providing best practices and evidence-based medicine now?
Yes, the Covenant Cancer Care Center has been growing and progressing for years, receiving national recognitions and accreditations. This affiliation builds on successes and now ensures the ability to share the latest in research and practice guidelines. The rate of change in cancer care and research makes this essential for patients.

10. Are all Cancer Care Center physicians certified by MD Anderson?
Covenant Cancer Care Center works in a multidisciplinary team approach.  Covenant underwent clinical practice reviews and rigorous onsite and offsite evaluations of the medical oncology program, radiation oncology program, surgery, diagnostic imaging, and inpatient and outpatient pharmacy. A number of physicians at Covenant are now certified physicians of MD Anderson Cancer Network and others are in the process of becoming certified. While not all Covenant cancer specialists will be certified, the priority is to connect patients with the most appropriate specialist for their type and stage of cancer. Patients can talk to their doctor, or call the Covenant Cancer Care Center at 989.583.5234 for additional information.

11. How can people obtain additional information?
Patients, caregivers, and community members can find information about the affiliation at www.covenantcancercare.com. Individuals who would like more information or do not have access to a computer, should call the Covenant Cancer Care Center at 989.583.5234. For additional information about MD Anderson Cancer Network, visit www.MDAnderson.org/cancernetwork.