Moffitt Cancer Center and Memorial Healthcare System have entered into a clinical partnership that will enhance the care of leukemia and lymphoma and establish a comprehensive Blood and Marrow Transplant Cellular Therapy Program for South Florida residents.
With both institutions recognized nationally and internationally as leaders in cancer care, this collaboration provides major benefits to patients seeking highly specialized cancer care close to home.
“Moffitt and Memorial share similar cultures, in that we are both driven by patient-centered care, provide world-class cancer treatment and are dedicated to advancing cancer research,” said Alan F. List, MD, Moffitt CEO and President. “Memorial and its patients will have increased access to research, personalized medicine and innovation through a distribution of the Moffitt model of care.”
Through the partnership, Moffitt will provide services of blood and marrow transplant and malignant hematology as well as those related to molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine. Moffitt will employ the physicians and advanced practice professionals to staff the new program at Memorial.
“Both Moffitt and Memorial share common goals in providing world-class treatments for patients in South Florida and beyond, as well as a dedication to innovation in clinical research and personalized medicine,” said Aurelio M. Fernandez, III, FACHE, President and CEO of Memorial Healthcare System. “Personalized medicine will be advanced through a much larger patient population – leading to new discoveries in the fight against cancer.”
After an initial diagnosis of breast cancer, Shamena sought a second opinion from Memorial and found physicians, nurses and an entire support team focused on her and her family.
“I’ve seen so many angels through this journey,” Shamena said. “I can’t say enough good things about them. If I had to, I’d drive three hours to come to Memorial.”
Shamena’s Memorial experience began with consultations from surgical oncologist Heather Wright, MD, medical oncologist Michel Velez, MD, and her patient navigator Andrea Searle, RN, who immediately helped her feel at ease.
Memorial’s breast cancer care team was with Shamena and her family every step of the way, from diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment and survivorship.
“All those people at Memorial who showed her love, they do it because they want to, because they feel it,” said Irshad, Shamena’s husband. “That’s the important thing in life.”
Memorial Cancer Institute offers breast cancer patients a multidisciplinary and tailored one-stop shop approach that is dedicated to their medical care from diagnosis to treatment. A wide variety of oncology specialties are all housed under the same roof and within steps of each other, thus enhancing the immediacy of care.
“We have a unique system in place that makes it very convenient for patients to come in one day and within a few hours see and have the opinion of the multiple disciplines that are involved in their care,” said Michel Velez, MD, breast medical oncologist.
The highly-qualified team of multidisciplinary experts thoroughly evaluates each case, and a discussion takes place between a medical oncologist, surgeon and radiation oncologist to provide patients with the collective opinion of all disciplines. Patients receive a clear, concise explanation of how their specific cancer should be approached.
“It avoids unnecessary delays waiting for appointments with the different specialists, which certainly makes a difference in certain aggressive cancers,” said Dr. Velez.
Additionally, all new breast cancer patients are immediately referred for an evaluation with Memorial’s Integrative Medicine program, which encompasses nutritional, rehabilitative, social, psychological and acupuncture services to help strengthen the body’s natural healing response during treatment.
When Phillip learned he had pancreatic cancer, he thought it was a death sentence. Today, he credits oncology surgeon Ihor Pidhorecky, MD with saving his life.