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New Interdisciplinary Innovation Hub to Accelerate Cancer Care in Tennessee and Beyond

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Oncology, a founding practice of OneOncology, announced today the launch of the McKay Institute for Oncology Transformation (McKay Institute), an interdisciplinary innovation hub that will aim to advance cancer care through the development, funding and application of transformative ideas.

“This is an exciting milestone in the life of our organization,” said Natalie Dickson, MD, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Tennessee Oncology. “At Tennessee Oncology, we are constantly taking steps to improve care, foster new ideas, and attract and empower leaders and partners who share our ambitions of finding better ways to treat cancer. As the next step in this pursuit, the McKay Institute will continue to drive innovation across the oncology spectrum to transform care for patients and professionals of every stripe.”

The McKay Institute will serve as Tennessee Oncology’s dedicated innovation arm and will be a vehicle for 3 key priorities:

  • Personalized Leadership and Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Physicians and Partners: Taking advantage of the unique healthcare delivery ecosystem in our backyard of Nashville, The McKay Institute will enable select physicians to develop hybrid leadership and entrepreneurial career paths in addition to their clinical practice. Examples include:
    • Davey Daniel, who practices in Chattanooga, also serves as Chief Medical Officer of OneOncology.
    • Samyukta Mullangi, who practices in Dickson, also serves as Medical Director of Oncology at Thyme Care, a cancer care navigation company based out of Nashville.
    • Stephen Schleicher, who serves as Tennessee Oncology’s Chief Medical Officer and practices in Lebanon, now also spends time at MainStreet Health, a rural value-based care company based out of Nashville.
  • Clinical Support for Businesses and Investment Ventures: The McKay Institute will offer partnership opportunities for internal and external entrepreneurial peers to help turn new ideas into marketable ventures that transform the delivery of oncology to the patients we serve. Entrepreneurs will have access to our clinical infrastructure spanning 35 sites of care, data analytics and care processes, and internal operations leaders and oncology experts to advance their ideas in a real-world oncology ecosystem. Specific projects underway include investments in a virtual cancer survivorship clinic and a platform to advance scheduling for outpatient cancer care, among other innovations.
  • Healthcare Delivery Research Pursuits: The McKay Institute will serve as a facilitator, both internally and in collaboration with external partners, to test new ways of care delivery across our urban and rural sites of care. Specific projects already underway include:
    • An award from the Tennessee Department of Health for the Tennessee Healthcare Resiliency Program for NEST (navigated, embedded, supportive care via telehealth), a project that aims to develop, implement, and evaluate a program of support oncology services for cancer patients in rural and underserved communities.
    • A joint grant with the University of Pennsylvania to study behavior nudges to improve adoption of palliative care. Results will be presented at the ASCO Quality Symposium next week in Boston.
    • Participation in the NIH BEST study through the University of Pittsburgh, which is studying the impact of opioid therapy for pain in individuals with metastatic cancer.

Based in Nashville, the McKay Institute is named in honor of the legacy of Dr. Charles McKay, who founded Tennessee Oncology in 1976. Dr. McKay’s expansive vision drove progress both in the clinical practice and business of oncology, setting new standards for care delivery and innovation.

“For more than 40 years, Tennessee Oncology has built a storied legacy of innovation, leadership and cutting-edge research,” Dr. Dickson said. “Our dedication to advancing oncology for physicians and patients is unmatched and The McKay Institute furthers that promise. We’re excited to embark on this new journey and what it means for our patients, their loved ones and our peers across the oncology space.”

About Tennessee Oncology: Tennessee Oncology, PLLC is one of the nation’s leading teams of cancer care specialists, nationally recognized for improving patient outcomes and driving quality of life innovation. Our comprehensive range of cancer care services includes specialized oncology nursing care, laboratory services, pharmacy, outpatient chemotherapy, radiation therapy and PET/CT services, palliative care, patient and family education and financial support services. Founded in 1976, our unique vision, introducing patient-driven care with a clinical trial focus, propelled Tennessee Oncology to lead one of the largest, physician-owned, community oncology practices in the country. Currently over 100 physicians in more than 30 locations, share the privilege of serving adult cancer patients from South Central Kentucky through Middle Tennessee to Northwest Georgia. For a complete list of physicians, locations and services please visit: