State’s top cancer programs unite to expand care

Published: December 16 2013

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Orlando Health and University of Florida Health today announced they have joined forces to establish one of the state’s largest, most comprehensive cancer programs.

The UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health will expand care and treatment options for patients throughout the region, at a time when statistics show the number of cancer cases in Florida is rising.

According to recent studies by the National Cancer Institute, Florida now has the second-largest cancer burden in America, and cancer has surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death in the Sunshine State.

“A need of this magnitude requires an innovative strategy for meeting this growing demand for cancer treatment and care,” said Orlando Health Board Chair Dianna Morgan. “By connecting some of the nation’s most experienced cancer doctors and leading cancer researchers, we can collaborate to provide the best possible care and the most favorable treatment outcomes for cancer patients.”

The program officially begins Jan. 31, when Orlando Health’s affiliation agreement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center expires.

Orlando patients will continue to receive their cancer care with the same Orlando Health physicians, oncologists, surgeons and staff they have come to know and trust. In addition, patients also will have more options for leading-edge treatment and expanded access to additional specialists, new drugs, clinical trials and other resources. The program also provides greater flexibility by offering care at community medical facilities closer to patients’ homes, whether in the Orlando or Gainesville areas.

“This is an important new step for cancer treatment in Florida,” said UF President Bernie Machen. “By connecting our university’s research and treatment expertise with the exceptional health care organization that is Orlando Health, we bolster our capacity to improve patient care and outcomes.”

Dr. Mark Roh will be president of the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health. He is currently president of MD Anderson-Orlando.

“The medical staff and faculty in Orlando and Gainesville are excited to be working together to expand cancer treatments and services for our patients. This will revolutionize cancer care for patients throughout Florida,” Roh said.

One of the first new initiatives to launch at the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health will be personalized cancer care. With an anticipated introduction in the spring of 2014, Dr. Phillips Charities has committed $1.5 million to the program, which offers the most promising direction in cancer treatment. Personalized cancer care involves genetic exploration of tumors and appropriate chemotherapy treatments based on that analysis.

“We deeply appreciate the very generous support of Dr. Phillips Charities to help us fulfill our mission to the community,” Roh added. “Their strong and generous support of Orlando Health over many years has helped us help thousands of patients and their families.”

Both Orlando Health and UF Health are highly respected with a rich history as health care leaders. Orlando Health includes central Florida’s first teaching hospital and its oncology services employ a specialized multidisciplinary approach ensuring each patient benefits from the expertise of a team of professionals. UF Health includes the state’s premier teaching hospital and its world-class physicians, nursing staff and providers are recognized regionally and nationally for their expertise.

“Everything we do at UF Health is centered on our patients and our mission to improve quality of life. We are unwavering in our commitment to address the health needs of Floridians with the most compassionate, highest-quality care,” said Dr. David S. Guzick, UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health. “This new relationship will create Florida’s leading program to respond to the state’s increasing demands for oncology clinical care and research.”

Category:Announcements, InsideUF, Top Stories