Lifespan Cancer Institute created to unify care across RI

February 15, 2017

Lifespan announced that cancer care services at all of its hospitals and outpatient centers will be unified and operate under a single name, the Lifespan Cancer Institute. Formerly known as the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Lifespan Cancer Institute will encompass all cancer care across Lifespan as well as the system’s thriving research program.

The naming reflects a new era of collaboration to ensure that every patient has access to a full array of comprehensive treatments, medical technology, support services, and clinical trials.

“Lifespan is leading efforts regionally to find new treatments, improve the delivery of cancer care, and, ultimately, save more lives,” said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and CEO of Lifespan. “The Lifespan Cancer Institute will be synonymous with treatment excellence and pioneering research.”

Babineau also announced that internationally renowned researcher and clinician Howard Safran, M.D., a longtime Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital physician, will be the chief of hematology/oncology of the Lifespan Cancer Institute. Dr. Safran earned his M.D. at Boston University and completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the Boston University Medical Center. He has served as Lifespan’s director of oncology cancer research since 2009 and interim director of hematology/oncology since 2015. Dr. Safran is also a professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His esteemed 30-year medical career includes appointments to numerous national task forces and committees; more than 100 peer-reviewed and invited publications; national and international presentations; and principal investigator roles on nearly $14 million of grant-funded research.

Lifespan cares for about 4,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients every year, and expects that number to increase with an aging population. Lifespan’s scope of care provides patients with innovative, current, and effective treatments, continually evolving with the fast-moving field of cancer research.

“This is an exciting time for providers and researchers in the myriad of cancer fields, and our goal is to accelerate progress,” said David E. Wazer, M.D., director of the Lifespan Cancer Institute. “New frontiers in treatment including precision medicine and immunotherapy are showing promise for our patients in the battle against cancer. Greater coordination of Lifespan’s diverse resources will be critical to achieving the best possible outcomes and advancing toward a cure as quickly as possible.”

About the Lifespan Cancer Institute

The Lifespan Cancer Institute is the largest program of its type in Rhode Island, with four treatment locations – Rhode Island Hospital, Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital and an East Greenwich outpatient center.  Our nationally renowned physicians include surgical, medical, interventional and radiation oncologists who sub-specialize in specific cancer types and work together in multidisciplinary clinics to provide state-of-the-art care to both adults and children. We are an active clinical trial site, committed to providing patients with the latest protocols. Our patients have access to groundbreaking immunotherapies and other new and emerging cancer treatments at various stages of diagnosis and across many cancer types.


About Lifespan

Lifespan is a five-partner not-for-profit health system based in Providence, R.I. Formed in 1994, Lifespan includes three teaching hospitals of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University: Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital; The Miriam Hospital; and Bradley Hospital, the nation’s first psychiatric hospital for children. It also includes Newport Hospital, a community hospital offering a broad range of health services, and Gateway Healthcare, the state’s largest provider of community behavioral health care.  Lifespan teaching hospitals are among the top recipients in the country of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The hospitals received $80 million in external research funding in fiscal 2015. All Lifespan-affiliated partners are charitable organizations that depend on support from the community to provide programs and services.

Media Contact

Christina Spaight O'Reilly

Senior Public Relations Officer
Rhode Island Hospital