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Sarasota Memorial Health Care gets to work building cancer pavilion

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 30, 2023
Business Affairs Rad Oncology
SMH Cancer Pavilion
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, a regional referral center in Southwest Florida, continued its expansion of its Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute this month by starting the groundwork for a new outpatient cancer pavilion.

The seven-story, 200,000-square-foot building will provide oncology services for prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment, and conduct clinical trials, and provide survivorship care and lifetime support.

It will be designed with a new and expanded breast health center that will have up-to-date mammography, ultrasound, stereotactic, and nuclear medicine technologies; four outpatient surgery suites; advanced high dose rate brachytherapy; radiotherapy; an infusion center; a diagnostic imaging suite with CT and MR scanners; integrative care clinics; and medical, surgical and radiation oncology physician practices, including Florida Cancer Specialists’ downtown practice.
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Patient navigation and support will also be available, and visits will be coordinated so patients will be able to see all their doctors in one day, according to the Herald-Tribune. The Jellison Cancer Institute has also recruited specialists from around the country to work for it.

“They come from the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and the Harvard teaching hospitals,” Richard Brown, medical director of the Jellison Cancer Institute, said in the groundbreaking ceremony for the pavilion on November 15, reported on by the Herald-Tribune.

SMH opened its first Cancer Institute facility, the Radiation Oncology Center on University Parkway, in 2020, which to date has treated nearly 1,800 patients and administered over 30,000 advanced treatments.

“Those are patients that would have had to drive to Tampa or elsewhere to get treatment,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder.

In 2021, it opened the Cancer Institute’s Oncology Tower, which is across the street from where the outpatient cancer pavilion will stand. There, it has provided personalized care to over 5,000 patients and performed more than 9,300 surgeries.

SMH is made up of two hospital campuses, including its flagship 901-bed Sarasota hospital, a freestanding ER, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, and a network of outpatient and urgent care centers. It cares for more than one million people annually and in 2021, opened a second acute-care hospital, SMH-Venice, for patients in the south Sarasota County region.

The new cancer pavilion is scheduled to open in late 2025.

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