Moffitt Cancer Center, Shands, UF to partner to improve cancer care

Published: January 23rd, 2008

Category: Business, Health, Research

GAINESVILLE — Moffitt Cancer Center, Shands HealthCare and the University of Florida announced today that they will work together to develop world-class programs in cancer care, research and prevention.

The partnership, which will extend Moffitt’s innovative model of comprehensive patient care to UF and Shands cancer programs, was outlined at a joint news conference in UF’s new Cancer-Genetics Research Complex.

“As a statewide resource for cancer research and treatment, Moffitt seeks to foster relationships such as these to maximize the state’s investment in addressing cancer,” said Dr. William S. Dalton, president/CEO and center director of Tampa-based Moffitt. “We feel this partnership will enhance Florida’s national and international reputation in cancer care and research, and ultimately contribute to improving the overall standard of cancer care in Florida and increase the state’s profile in cancer care and research in the state and beyond.”

Under the arrangement, crafted through extensive discussions between Dalton, UF College of Medicine Dean Bruce Kone, Shands HealthCare CEO Tim Goldfarb and other leaders, the parties will look for opportunities to collaborate across the spectrum of patient care, research and educational activities. The participants signed a memorandum of understanding at the news conference.

“We’re looking for synergies,” Kone said. “Our efforts will leverage their best assets and our best assets to deliver world-class care and discovery.”

As part of this collaboration, Moffitt’s Total Cancer Care, or TCC, model and approach to a cancer patient’s life journey will be integrated with the cancer program at Shands at UF, the academic medical center in Gainesville, renowned for its pioneering work in such areas as bone marrow transplantation and radiosurgery.

The TCC model is widely admired for its emphasis on quality improvement, the needs of surviving family members, and tissue and data collection for the purpose of tailoring therapies for individual patients, Kone said.

This alliance comes 18 months after of the opening of the Cancer-Genetics Research Complex on the UF campus. Additionally, Shands at UF is preparing for the completion of its $388 million, 500,000-square-foot cancer hospital in 2009. Cancer patients treated there will gain access to state-of-the-art therapies in a comfortable, healing environment.

Goldfarb said he especially likes the arrangement because it is “additive, not exclusive.”

“This partnership doesn’t disturb any relationship that our organizations have with other parties, in fact we welcome others to join us,” Goldfarb said. “Through this alliance, we are uniting our intellectual, technological and scientific resources to truly lead cancer care for the benefit of Florida residents. Our impact together will be outstanding. This is an exciting day for people throughout our region.”

In addition to implementing the TCC initiative, initial collaborations will include joint research, co-authored scientific publications, joint recruitment and philanthropy.

Working with the National Cancer Institute, Moffitt will seek to integrate the UF and Shands cancer program into Moffitt’s NCI comprehensive cancer center designation, held by only 39 cancer centers nationwide. Inclusion should give UF scientists more opportunities at garnering NCI grants for collaborative projects with Moffitt investigators, Kone said. It also will give UF and Shands patients’ better access to large-scale clinical trials of new therapies.

UF President Bernie Machen expressed his optimism about the progress made thus far.

“This collaboration has the real potential to have a major impact on every Florida citizen, because cancer touches all of us,” he said. “Clearly this is just the beginning and a great deal of work is ahead of us, but the spirit of collaboration that has gotten us to this point is practically unheard of and it bodes well for the future of these efforts.”

An archive of the news conference is now available at http://streaming.video.ufl.edu/~video/20080123-pressconference.asx.

For more information, contact:
Michelle Foley, Moffitt Cancer Center, 813-745-1505, Michelle.Foley@moffitt.org
Kim Jamerson, Shands HealthCare, 352-265-0373, jamerk@shands.ufl.edu
Tom Fortner, UF College of Medicine, 352-273-5814, tfortner@ufl.edu

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Fla., Moffitt Cancer Center (www.moffitt.org) is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer as well as for ear, nose and throat. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

About Shands HealthCare
Shands HealthCare is a private, not-for-profit health-care organization affiliated with the University of Florida Health Science Center. With facilities in North Central and Northeast Florida, Shands HealthCare includes eight hospitals: two academic medical centers and four community and two specialty hospitals. Shands serves as Florida’s leading health-care referral system, treating patients from every county in the state as well as from throughout the nation and more than a dozen other countries annually. More than 1,500 affiliated UF faculty and community physicians treat patients at Shands facilities and UF’s network of more than 80 outpatient physician practices. Shands at the University of Florida, the system’s academic medical center in Gainesville, has centers of emphasis in cancer, cardiovascular, neurosurgery, orthopaedic, pediatric and transplantation services. The Shands at UF Cancer Hospital is a new $388-million, 500,000-square-foot facility slated to open in 2009.

About UF Health Science Center
The University of Florida Health Science Center — the most comprehensive academic health center in the Southeast — is dedicated to high-quality programs of education, research, patient care and public service. The Health Science Center encompasses the colleges of Dentistry, Public Health and Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and an academic campus in Jacksonville offering graduate education programs in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. Patient-care activities are provided through teaching hospitals and a network of clinics in Gainesville and Jacksonville. The Health Science Center also has a statewide presence through satellite medical, dental and nursing clinics staffed by UF health professionals, and through affiliations with community-based health-care facilities stretching from Hialeah and Miami to the Florida Panhandle.

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