Sylvester at Deerfield Beach Celebrates Premiere
Women’s Center and Radiation Oncology Center Unveiled
Surrounded by a congressman, a mayor, and dozens of business and community leaders, nearly 400 people gathered at the premiere of the newly expanded Sylvester at Deerfield Beach facility and heaped praise on the many physicians and employees in attendance. The Deerfield Beach campus of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System, has added a full slate of new programs and state-of-the-art options for patients, including an all new radiation oncology center and multidisciplinary women’s center.
At the November 9 event, guests were given a first-hand look at the entire facility, which has served Broward and Palm Beach county residents since 2003. The facility that opened with 10,000 square feet of space now boasts 50,000 square feet, and more than 30 cancer specialists offering care in 14 site disease groups. They will be led by Mohammad Jahanzeb, M.D., professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, who is medical director of Sylvester at Deerfield Beach. An expert in breast and lung cancers, Jahanzeb plans to make the academic-based cancer facility the “top choice for cancer patients because of our expertise and the weapons at our disposal.”
Charles Vogel, M.D., professor of medicine and renowned breast cancer expert, will lead the new women’s center on the second floor, which includes digital mammography for screening and diagnosis, high-resolution breast ultrasound, breast MRI, image-guided biopsies, and comprehensive breast and gynecologic cancer services. Vogel was chief of the Division of Breast Cancer and clinical director of the cancer center at the University of Miami in the mid-’70s and declared the evening a “homecoming of sorts.”
Guests also toured the new radiation oncology center, which boasts a RapidArc® linear accelerator for more rapid delivery of radiation. Led by Alan Pollack, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of radiation oncology, all cancer patients in this region will now have access to full radiation therapy. Senior radiation therapist Tony Palmer explained to guests in detail how the RapidArc® can deliver radiation with pinpoint accuracy based on the shape of each patient’s tumor.
From there, guests were led to the UHealth Imaging suite which contains a 64-slice CT scan, PET/CT and SPECT/CT among other high-tech imaging and diagnostic devices. One guest declared the arsenal of technology “amazing and impressive.” Cancer patients also have the benefit of an expanded chemotherapy infusion unit and access to complementary treatments from the Courtelis Center’s psychosocial services.
After the tours, W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D., chief medical officer of Sylvester/UMHC — University of Miami Hospital & Clinics, began the program with a reminder about the humble beginnings of Sylvester at Deerfield, which started with just seven exam rooms.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a longtime supporter of Sylvester who worked to pass the state Tobacco Tax that fuels cancer research across Florida, spoke about the “devastating and heartbreaking impact of cancer.” He reminded everyone that research done in cancer laboratories enables 11 million people each year to enjoy an extended life, and comprehensive cancer centers such as Sylvester are vital to making strides against the disease. The congressman also thanked the scores of Pap Corps members in attendance.
The Pap Corps, a 21,000-strong all-volunteer group, tirelessly holds fundraisers for Sylvester, raising millions of dollars each year. Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., interim director of Sylvester, called the Pap the “wind beneath our wings” – a remark that drew rousing applause. Dr. Rosenblatt related the story of a patient treated with a novel therapy developed by Sylvester researchers, and spoke about the cancer center’s plan to secure the comprehensive designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
William Donelan, vice president for medical administration and chief operating officer, thanked the Sylvester family for their commitment as he described the Deerfield Beach facility as one of the “crown jewels” in the UHealth system. He also recognized the dedication of the Pap Corps and said the expanded facility was a clear illustration of the cancer center’s growth.
Deerfield Beach Mayor Peggy Noland delivered a proclamation declaring November 9, 2010, “Sylvester Day in Deerfield Beach.” Noland told the crowd that as a patient herself, she not only knew she was getting the best care, but also “felt at home and comfortable” at Sylvester at Deerfield Beach.
A standing ovation accompanied a grateful patient who ended the program by telling his story. Richard Kahn, treated in a clinical trial for a bone marrow disorder, said he did research when he was diagnosed and “all roads led to Sylvester.” After describing his treatment team as his family, Kahn read a “love note” calling them his “knights in shining armor.”
For more information or to make an appointment at Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, call 954-571-0111 or visit www.sylvester.org.