PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The $10 million dollar grant received by MaineHealth from the Harold Alfond® Foundation will give cancer patients more access to life-saving treatments in their community.

"The generous investment from 'The Harold Alfond Foundation' will make a tremendous difference in the lives of Maine and New Hampshire residents by facilitating personalized, state-of-the-art care that turns more patients into survivors," according to the press release.

Maine Medical Center's Chief of Oncology, Dr. Scot Remick spoke to NEWS CENTER about the opportunities this grant will enable for the two most important things to cancer patients; curing their illness and receiving treatment close to home.

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"When patients access the MaineHealth Cancer Care Network for care, they will access the services they need as close to home as possible. Patients can be referred to larger centers for more advanced care, second opinions or clinical trials, and then return to their local communities for follow-up care," said the press release.

Dr. Remick said the benchmark for care is being raised in Maine with "coordinated and high integrated cancer care, where patients can access their local hospital and it's an incumbent upon us to find the right care, the right place and as close to home as possible."

The grant in partnership with the Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will last five years and provide treatment to any patient that is currently being treated by MaineHealth. “Our network includes nearly 300 providers across Maine and the Mount Washington Valley,” said Remick.

The CDC said thousands of people from Maine are diagnosed with cancer each year and finding care close to home can be a real problem. The MaineHealth Cancer Care Network said it will provide comprehensive cancer treatment services to everyone in their community. "For patients and their families, this means less time and travel to obtain top cancer care. Most patients will have access to a patient navigator who educates them about the disease, discusses treatment options, and then helps coordinate appointments."

Maine Medical Center said it is grateful to be part of such an innovative initiative. "This is an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients,” said Rich Petersen, President, and CEO of Maine Medical Center. “Through the MaineHealth Cancer Care Network, we will work together to provide the very best care for every patient we serve.”

Harold Alfond Foundation Chairman Greg Powell said: "By working together, we can achieve transformative change in the lives of so many people who every day face a disproportionate risk of cancer."

MaineHealth Cancer Care Network partners include Franklin Memorial Hospital, LincolnHealth, MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, Maine Medical Center, Memorial Hospital, Mid Coast Hospital, Pen Bay Medical Center, Southern Maine Health Care, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Stephens Memorial Hospital, Waldo County General Hospital and the Cancer Care Center of York County.