Joel Helmke, MSHP, FACHE

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Chief Operating Officer


As the chief operating officer (COO) of Fox Chase Cancer Center, Joel Helmke directs the clinical and business operations, bringing industry best practices and refining processes to enhance the facilities to match the talent and expertise in our faculty and staff. This includes propelling integration efforts between Fox Chase and Temple University Health System, which Fox Chase is a part of. Helmke is in charge of bringing new collaborations and even greater efficiencies with TUH–Jeanes Campus, as well as identifying and pursuing areas of advancement in cancer care delivery and services throughout the health system.

Helmke joined Fox Chase after nearly five years as senior vice president of clinical operations at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and 32-site cancer network. He managed an overall budget of $1.5 billion and a staff of 1,200 at City of Hope.

He also managed a number of areas encompassing an additional 1,250 staff in collaboration with the senior vice president of nursing, including ambulatory operations, inpatient operations, infusion therapy, and surgical services.

Helmke also previously served as system vice president of WellStar Cancer Network, an affiliate of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. While there, he completed a total revamp of the oncology service line governance structure, commissioned a full review of the cancer program market strategy and brand strengths, and managed and supported the partnership between the WellStar Cancer Network and the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Prior to WellStar, Helmke spent 14 years at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he refined his experience in a variety of roles. Earlier in his career, he served at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Methodist Healthcare System in Houston, and St. David’s HealthCare in Austin.

Helmke earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in health professions - healthcare administration from Texas State University. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Six Sigma Executive Champion, and serves on the board of the Association of Cancer Executives.

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