From OHC, Specialists in Cancer and Blood Disorders

August 26, 2019

The Blood Cancer Center at The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health is celebrating its 30th anniversary. OHC, specialists in the treatment of adult cancers and blood disorders, partners with Mercy Health to provide care at the Blood Cancer Center. Together, they have performed more than 2300 bone marrow transplants since it opened in 1989, saving and extending the lives of many patients.

“As a physician, I have always wanted to offer a sense of hope to our patients. I’m grateful to have that opportunity every day thanks to the team at the Blood Cancer Center and to my research colleagues at OHC who joined me in bringing CAR-T therapy and other innovative treatments to the region,” said James H. Essell, MD, OHC medical oncologist, hematologist, and transplant specialist. He also serves as the medical director of the Blood Cancer Center and as a principal investigator for OHC’s blood cancer clinical trials.

This year, the Blood Cancer Center became the first adult treatment center in the region to offer Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy, also known as CAR-T, for patients with certain blood cancers. This is a leading-edge treatment for adults with aggressive blood cancers that has helped many patients previously considered terminal to go into remission with good quality of life, demonstrated for up to five years.

Nationally recognized and accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the Blood Cancer Center has earned the Gold Seal of Approval® from the Joint Commission—a disease-specific care certification. Its overall patient survival rates are comparable to those of MD Anderson and the Cleveland Clinic.

The state-of-the-art transplant facility includes 28 private rooms, six of which are ICU rooms designated for blood cancer patients requiring critical care. An acute rehabilitation unit, outpatient clinic and infusion center are also located on the same floor as the inpatient unit providing ease of access for both patients and caregivers.

“The Blood Cancer Center started as the most advanced adult blood and bone marrow transplant program in the Tristate and it has retained its leadership position over 30 years,” said Pat Davis-Hagens, President of The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health. “When patients and their loved ones enter our doors, they become family. It’s that deep bond that inspires the Blood Cancer Center’s care team to provide the heartfelt, quality care that has impacted the lives of so many across the region.”

Each year, the team treats more than 120 new patients with acute leukemia and high-grade lymphoma with procedures including autologous, allogeneic, syngeneic (from an identical twin) and haplo-identical (half matched donor) transplants. OHC and The Jewish Hospital Blood Cancer Center participate in a wide range of clinical trials, giving patients early access to the newest, most promising treatments.

OHC (Oncology Hematology Care) has been fighting cancer on the front lines for more than three decades. We are the region’s leading experts in the treatment of nearly every form of adult cancer and complex blood disorders. OHC offers the latest medical, gynecologic and radiation therapy, and is always seeking better treatment options through participation in clinical trials. OHC is certified by the American Society for Clinical Oncology in the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program, is an accredited Oncology Medical Home, and is one of only 176 practices nationally to be accepted into the Medicare Oncology Initiative. At its heart, our approach to cancer care is simple – to surround you with everything you need so you can focus on what matters most: beating cancer. For more information about services and careers at OHC, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

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