Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas, names Ronan Kelly, MBBCh, MD, MBA, chief of oncology for the organization's North Texas medical centers. Dr. Kelly is also the medical director of Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center – Dallas, located at Baylor University Medical Center.
Dr. Kelly joins Baylor Scott & White from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., where he served as director of the Gastroesophageal Cancer Therapeutics Program and as medical director of Global Oncology Johns Hopkins International.
Focus on Innovative Care
"After an extensive national search, Dr. Kelly stood out as the candidate to help anchor the future of cancer care at Baylor Scott & White Health in North Texas as well as across the state," said Irving Prengler, MD, chief medical officer of Baylor Scott & White Health's North Texas division. "His experience leading international clinical trials and continued commitment to improving the quality and value of care for all cancer patients, matched with an unbridled focus on the benefits of immunotherapy treatment made him the clear choice to be a trusted leader within our system."
Throughout his career Dr. Kelly has curated an innovative portfolio of clinical trials in lung and gastroesophageal cancer. He serves as the co-chair of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) taskforce working to improve the quality of care received by lung cancer patients worldwide. He has authored and co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and book chapters, and contributed his work to many prominent healthcare journals.
Dr. Kelly earned a medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and a master's in business administration from University College Dublin. He served his oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Dr. Kelly was recently appointed clinical professor of Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and remains an adjunct associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins.
Enhancing Care Across the Continuum
"As one of the largest cancer treatment centers in the nation, Baylor University Medical Center, a part of Baylor Scott & White Health, will continue to have a huge role in the war against cancer," Dr. Kelly said. "Our goal is to position our cancer center network as a destination location for patients seeking novel immunotherapeutic treatment. By utilizing our system's size and developing key strategic relationships with academia and industry leaders, our cancer system can play an integral role in improving our understanding of mechanisms of resistance to checkpoint inhibitors and cellular therapies – helping to define the next generation of immunotherapeutic combinations. Large health systems treating huge volumes of patients are needed if we are to continue the incredible advances that have been made in the treatment of cancer over the last few years."
Kelly's leadership of oncology services will span Baylor Scott & White's footprint in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which includes Baylor University Medical Center – the System's North Texas flagship hospital – as well as a network of Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Centers.
Baylor University Medical Center is a major academic medical center that offers the full spectrum of cancer care through its outpatient Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center and inpatient Baylor T. Boone Pickens Cancer Hospital – the only dedicated cancer treatment hospital in North Texas. In addition to traditional cancer care offered by a multidisciplinary team, the medical center is also known for its holistic approach to healing – offering psychological support, dedicated patient navigators, personalized rehabilitation programs to recover from cancer treatments, dietary counseling and healthy eating/food preparation classes, caregiver consultations (including dedicated counseling for children/adolescents whose parents develop cancer), arts and music therapy through the arts in medicine program, and more. It also offers the only specialized after-hours urgent care facility for cancer patients in the metroplex. This resource was thoughtfully developed to keep immunosuppressed patients who have 24-hour medical emergencies separate from a typical hospital emergency department or urgent care facility.
Future of Personalized Medicine
Cancer research and treatment centers at Baylor University Medical Center coordinate care across nearly every cancer sub-type. Within these centers, multidisciplinary teams collaborate to develop personalized care plans, incorporating advanced therapies and research.
With a focus on innovative clinical trials including novel cellular therapies, such as CAR-T and Natural Killer cells, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute evaluates promising treatment options in many first in-human studies that span across varying tumor-types. Through Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Baylor University Medical Center holds a key differentiator in its ability to administer novel therapies, manufacture treatment, and conduct lab work on the same campus where patients are treated.
Dr. Kelly will provide administrative oversight of medical care at the network of Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Centers across North Texas. The eight oncology facilities accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer are located on the North Texas campuses of Baylor Scott & White medical centers. Drawing on the strength of the entire network, patients have access to recognized experts and the full spectrum of cancer care services offered at the Dallas campus. For more information on cancer services at Baylor Scott & White Health, visit: BSWHealth.com/CancerCare