March 7, 2019

Around the nation: Alex Trebek diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer

Daily Briefing

    The disease has low survival odds, with only 8.5% of patients surviving five years after diagnosis between 2008 and 2014, according to the National Cancer Institute, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California and Kentucky.

    • California: Alex Trebek, host of gameshow "Jeopardy!" since 1984, on Wednesday announced he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. "Now normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working," Trebek, age 78, said in a video announcing his illness. The disease has low survival odds, with only 8.5% of patients surviving five years after diagnosis between 2008 and 2014, according to the National Cancer Institute. Timothy Donahue, professor of surgery, chief of surgical oncology, and a pancreatic surgeon at UCLA, said, "It's best for [pancreatic cancer patients] to try and continue their normal lives as much as possible." He added, "It keeps their spirits up when combating this disease and trying to tolerate the treatment" (Lam/James, USA Today, 3/6; Doubek, NPR, 3/7).

    • California: Sutter Health on Monday opened a $2.1 billion acute care hospital in San Francisco. The new California Pacific Medical Center Van Ness Campus, which has been under construction since 2014, consolidates Sutter's emergency, outpatient, and inpatient services, and the system's medical offices into one block. The new campus includes a 274-bed hospital and a nine-story medical office building that should open later this year (Alvarez, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/5).

    • Kentucky: The Kentucky Hospital Association and the Kentucky Office of Rural Health are collaborating with Collective Medical to establish a statewide data-sharing network that would allow providers to identify patients who are at risk for prescription misuse and repeat ED visits. Through the care coordination network, medical staff will be able to access and track which prescriptions patients have obtained recently as well as which hospitals they visited as soon as the patient is registered at a hospital (Autry, WKYU FM, 2/5).

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