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Joel Helmke Joins Fox Chase Cancer Center as New Chief Operating Officer

January 11, 2021

PHILADELPHIA (January 11, 2021) – Fox Chase Cancer Center is pleased to announce the addition of Joel Helmke, MSHP, FACHE, to its senior leadership team as chief operating officer (COO). Helmke’s tenure will begin on February 1, 2021.

Helmke will be in charge of directing clinical and business operations for Fox Chase. “By bringing industry best practices and new perspectives, he will help us refine our processes and enhance our facilities to match the talent and expertise we already have in our faculty and staff. Such improvements will further advance the way we provide care to our patients and their families,” said Richard I. Fisher, MD, president and CEO of Fox Chase.

Fisher said Helmke will continue to propel integration efforts between Fox Chase and Temple University Health System, which Fox Chase is a part of. Particular attention will focus on developing 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.

Before joining Fox Chase, Helmke served 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.

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively “Fox Chase Cancer Center”), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.


For more information, call 888-369-2427

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