The publisher of “America’s Top Doctors,” Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd. recently released its 2015 list of the top cancer doctors in the U.S. The list is available in a 63 page supplement to the special health issue of Newsweek magazine published for the week of July 31 – August 7 and on the magazine’s website. Thirty-one Wisconsin-based physicians made the list, including specialists at UW Hospital, Froedtert Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Castle Connolly compiled the list by surveying thousands of healthcare providers about their peers and reviewing the credentials of reviewing the credentials of the physicians identified as being at the top of their field. The selection criteria included education, residency, board certification, fellowships, professional reputation, hospital appointment, medical school faculty appointment, experience, and disciplinary history.

Given these criteria, it is not surprising that most physicians included in the list practice at a hospital that is affiliated with a medical school. In fact, all of the list’s doctors in Wisconsin practice at hospitals that are affiliated with one of the state’s two medical schools. UW Hospital is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, while Froedtert Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin are affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The upshot of having some of the nation’s top cancer physicians in Wisconsin is that many cancer patients in the state may not have to travel far to receive first-rate care. It also means that patients in the southeastern Wisconsin who are covered through either of the state’s two new accountable care networks, Abouthealth and Integrated Health Network of Wisconsin, can have access to the expertise of these leading physicians. The Integrated Health Network includes both Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The Abouthealth network includes Madison-based UW Health, as well as Aurora Health Care, ProHealth Care, and five other Wisconsin-based health systems.

Southeastern Wisconsin health systems have invested heavily in cancer care in recent years. Last year, Aurora opened a 38,000 square foot cancer center in Kenosha. The Center for Advanced Care that Froedtert is building in Wauwatosa will include a two-story cancer center. And earlier this month, the $70 million UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care opened in Pewaukee.

The new Pewaukee cancer center is a joint partnership between UW Health, ProHealth, and Aurora. Under the terms of the partnership, ProHealth will own the building and provide staff, UW Health will provide leadership and some subspecialty care, and Aurora will designate a number of oncologists to the center. This cooperative model will capitalize on ProHealth’s strong footprint and brand recognition in Waukesha County, while also tapping into expertise from UW Health’s Carbone Cancer Center, and Aurora’s position as the leading provider of cancer care in southeastern Wisconsin. It is also expected to attract new and returning cancer patients due to a design that was created with the help of a patient advisory group and focused on the unique needs of cancer patients. Features of the new center include an open air rehabilitation gym, healing garden, and private entrances for therapy patients.

Photo by Yuya Tamal used under CC BY 2.0.