Congresswoman Celebrates Opening of Sylvester at Plantation

Joining Broward County officials and University of Miami leadership, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) last week celebrated the opening of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at its new Plantation location.

“It is a thrill to see the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine bring its expertise and world-class healthcare to Sylvester at Plantation,” Wasserman Schultz said at the September 17 ceremony. “As a breast cancer survivor, this is a very personal issue for me. For anyone who is hit with the devastating diagnosis of cancer, it is imperative that you don’t have to worry about access to quality healthcare.”

University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala noted that Sylvester at Plantation also will give Broward patients convenient access to the Miller School of Medicine’s more than 100 current clinical trials. “We are on the cutting edge of research that goes directly to the bedside for our patients, and it is those breakthroughs that benefit cancer patients everywhere,” Shalala said.

Shalala also welcomed Jayne Sylvester Malfitano, vice chair of Sylvester’s Board of Governors and daughter of Harcourt Sylvester Jr., whose pledge of $27.5 million helped the University build a cancer center on the UM medical center campus in honor of his parents.

“Our goal is to make sure the best cancer care is available for everyone in South Florida,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School of Medicine and CEO of UHealth. He noted that the American Society for Clinical Oncology gave Sylvester a perfect review in its Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI), an out-patient based evaluation of U.S. cancer centers.

Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of Sylvester, said that cancer is increasingly becoming a chronic disease. “Cancer treatment today is a complex process that takes time,” he said. “It is not a viable option for cancer patients to have to leave their families or their jobs and travel elsewhere to seek treatment.” Nimer added that cancer is often misdiagnosed, and it is important for patients “to get diagnosed at an expert facility, so that they can be started on the right treatment track.”

Broward County Commissioner and Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief and Commissioner Martin David Kiar read a proclamation designating September 17 as “UHealth/Sylvester at Plantation Appreciation Day.” Noting that she is a nurse practitioner, Sharief added, “I know the struggles of cancer patients firsthand, and it gives me great joy to see this center in Broward.”

Under the direction of Deborah O’Connor, M.S.N., R.N., Director of Satellite Practices in Plantation, Sylvester at Plantation is part of UHealth at Plantation, located in the Crossroads Business Park. Other UHealth programs in the facility include ophthalmology from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute specialists, sports medicine, physical therapy, cardiology, urology, otolaryngology and neurology. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 305-243-4000.

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