- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Tulsa will house the nation’s eighth affiliate clinic of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, making it the first in Oklahoma and the outpost farthest west.

The program with The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis is set to open in July, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/1XFgWdw ) reported. The partnership adds St. Jude’s research and resources to the care The Children’s Hospital already provides for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

“This is not an in-name-only affiliation. It is not a marketing agreement so we can put a marquee that might suggest more than it produces,” said Jake Henry Jr., president and CEO of Saint Francis Health System. “Indeed, our clinic is now an extension of the world leader in pediatric cancer research and treatment right here in Tulsa, in northeastern Oklahoma.”

Henry said clinical trials for leading-edge treatments will be available to cancer patients at the hospital, eliminating long wait times for these measures to become common practice.

Henry said St. Jude clinical physicians and researchers vetted the hospital for about two years to determine its qualifications to be an affiliate.

“It’s a fairly selective process. There are only seven other affiliate clinics, so we feel honored to be chosen to be one,” he said. “It gets the most cutting-edge care into this community at a much faster rate.”

Brian and Megan McKinney attended the news conference about the affiliate at The Children’s Hospital. They brought their 5-year-old daughter, Caroline, who has leukemia.

“To see the partnership with St. Jude’s means a tremendous amount to us, knowing that they will have further resources to improve upon the already phenomenal care that we’ve received,” McKinney said.

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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