Doylestown Health has joined the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network at Jefferson, effective Jan. 1, after more than 20 years as part of the Penn Cancer Network, officials at Doylestown and Jefferson said Wednesday.

For five years, Doylestown has been a member of the Jefferson Neurosciences Network and doctors at Doylestown were impressed by "how much care and how much expertise could be embedded in the community and close to the patient" under that arrangement, James Brexler, Doylestown's chief executive, said.

The cancer community at Doylestown is hoping for the same thing, Brexler said.

Community hospitals typically have relationships with academic medical centers to be able to more easily tap the expertise and clinical trials available at such centers. For academic medical centers, community hospitals are an important source of referrals.

Stephen K. Klasko, Jefferson's CEO, said the relationship with Doylestown fits with the model Jefferson is trying to implement in the region. "It's getting care out to where people are," he said.

Penn will continue to operate a radiation therapy center on the Doylestown campus, he said.