The University of Alabama (UAB) Health System has partnered with non-profit health system Infirmary Health to enhance cancer services across southern Alabama, south-east Mississippi and the Florida panhandle.

The partnership is the result of a multi-year planning effort carried out by both organisations’ leaderships to improve cancer outcomes and expand scientific discovery.

Based in Alabama, Infirmary Health has three post-acute care facilities, more than 60 physician practice locations, four acute care hospitals and three ambulatory surgical centres.

The integration of both organisations’ services, expertise and resources is intended to foster collaboration in clinical care and basic translational care services.

The partners also aim to help in the early detection and prevention of cancer for existing and new patients.

UAB CEO Health System Dawn Bulgarella said: “Partnering with Infirmary Health in this capacity allows us the ability to extend our impact statewide, which is paramount to our mission here at UAB Medicine.

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“We look forward to a prosperous, collaborative partnership with Infirmary Health and together continuing to enhance the level of cancer care that patients have access to in our state.”

Patients at Infirmary Cancer Care’s five locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties will continue to receive routinely care alongside the services of cancer specialists and multidisciplinary teams from UAB.

Both organisations will maintain their clinical services under their current licences and legal entities, with no change in ownership resulting from the partnership.

Infirmary Cancer Care director Furhan Yunus said: “This partnership is monumental for healthcare in Alabama and the cancer patients of our region.

“Through our collaboration, Infirmary Cancer Care patients will now have access to more than 200 clinical trials and the resources of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated comprehensive cancer centre close to home.

“This will improve not only the outcomes for our patients but also their quality of life during their cancer treatment and beyond.”