Photo: Sarasota Memorial Hospital
SMH moves forward with plans for a new 'destination' cancer center
SARASOTA, Fla. – Sarasota Memorial is moving ahead with plans to develop a comprehensive cancer center, a premier facility that will offer services across the entire continuum of cancer care, from prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment, to follow-up care, survivorship and support.
The Sarasota County Public Hospital Board approved the first phase of facility planning in October, allocating up to $4 million to begin design of the full-service “destination” cancer center on its main Sarasota campus.
“Our goal is to create a premier center that provides residents of our community and beyond with access to not only a comprehensive, highly specialized team of cancer specialists, but also the best diagnostic and treatment technologies and most promising clinical trials available,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder.
When complete in three to four years, the cancer center will offer specialty programs for breast, GYN, GI/colorectal and lung cancers, as well as prostate/GU, neuro-oncology, melanoma and hematologic subspecialties. Multi-disciplinary services will include medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, imaging and diagnostics, physician clinics and patient support services.
A new Oncology Leadership Group consisting of multi-disciplinary physicians in the community and administrative staff have begun meeting regularly to provide guidance as the health system enhances existing and develops new cancer care programs. Among other things, the leadership group will help develop collaborative programs focused on best practices, the latest research and evidence-based treatment options and protocols.
The cancer center initiative is led by Richard Brown, MD, Medical Director of Sarasota Memorial’s cancer care services, and Associate Medical Director James Fiorica, MD. Brown, a highly respected medical oncologist with Florida Cancer Specialists in Sarasota, has served as medical director of Sarasota Memorial’s cancer care services for more than 15 years. Fiorica, a gynecologic oncologist who also serves as Sarasota Memorial’s associate chief medical officer, has directed Sarasota Memorial’s Women’s Cancer Specialty Program and research program since relocating from Moffitt Cancer Center in 2005.
About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional medical center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 819-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation.