SPOKANE, Wash., May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cancer Care Northwest, Kootenai Health and Providence Health Care – the region's premier health care leaders in cancer services – have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a new regional cancer alliance aimed at elevating the quality, coordination and care experience for patients and their families throughout the inland northwest. This is not a merger or acquisition. It is an innovative model of clinical collaboration between three committed cancer care providers. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130507/DC09242LOGO-a ) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130507/DC09242LOGO-b ) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130108/DC38598LOGO ) "Our goal is to build regional centers of excellence in oncology that will continually provide our patients with the latest advances in cancer therapies, cutting-edge research and the most sophisticated technology," says Warren Benincosa, chief executive officer of Cancer Care Northwest (CCNW). "By combining the expertise of each organization, our aim is to further expand the coordinated treatment of cancer patients, allowing them to remain close to home for their care." The new alliance is the first step in creating an environment that will make local advancements in cancer care possible. These potentially include adoption of evidence-based clinical protocols, medical research and clinical trial opportunities that bring additional treatment options to patients, improved physician recruitment, community education and prevention programs, expansion of tumor conferences that use multidisciplinary teams of experts to evaluate patients' cancers to determine the best course of treatment, and expansion of programs and services like patient navigators that assist patients through the cancer treatment process. The new alliance's first endeavor is to create a comprehensive and integrated radiation treatment program to serve patients throughout the region. The intent is to develop one coordinated radiation oncology program across the three organizations creating greater efficiencies and improved access to advanced, targeted radiation tools that enhance treatment response and minimize side effects.