Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center on Track to Receive $9.5 Million
Money from State to Further
The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine could receive $9.5 million for continued cancer research as a result of the 2010 legislative session. This additional funding approved by the state House and Senate will enable Sylvester to recruit more researchers with expertise in specific areas of cancer, along with their research teams. In turn, this money will play a critical role in helping Sylvester take the necessary final steps toward achieving a National Cancer Institute designation.
“We applaud this historic show of support by our Florida lawmakers, giving Sylvester a better chance to be awarded an NCI designation,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Miller School of Medicine. “This will bring more cutting-edge research opportunities, clinical trials and innovative treatments to patients in South Florida and beyond.”
As the only academic-based cancer center in South Florida, the impact on patient access to more pioneering therapies will be substantial, enhancing Sylvester’s multi-disciplinary approach. The prestigious “Cancer Center” designation from the National Cancer Institute will allow Sylvester to secure additional sources of funding, recruit scientific and medical talent with greater ease, and improve its research integration with other specialized cancer centers.
“We recognize this is a tight budget year where lawmakers are making difficult decisions, but cancer does not recognize recession,” said W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D., chief medical officer of Sylvester. “We thank the members of the Miami-Dade delegation, especially State Representative David Rivera, chair of the Full Appropriations Council on General Government & Health Care, and State Representative Denise Grimsley, chairwoman of the Health Care Appropriations Committee, for their tireless commitment to one of Florida’s most vulnerable populations.”
With the House and Senate approval of the budget, it will now head to Governor Charlie Crist for his signature.
Florida is the third largest state with the second highest cancer burden of any state in the nation, yet has only one NCI Cancer Center. With an NCI designation, Sylvester is expected to support 14,138 jobs in the year 2020, and the expected economic impact is $1.7 billion. Investing in Sylvester’s future growth and NCI designation is of key importance to ensure a world-class medical and research facility, providing significant economic and social benefits to South Florida and the State of Florida.
“The state’s allocation will not only sustain the promising research at Sylvester,” says Joseph D. Rosenblatt, M.D., interim director of Sylvester, “but also ensure the availability of exceptional clinical trials and options for patients in Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America. This is a visionary move on behalf of the state that will benefit our region medically and economically.”
“The Sylvester Foundation’s extraordinary gift that created this Cancer Center opened up an amazing facility to treat patients across South Florida and the region,” Goldschmidt said. “This additional infusion of funding will be an investment that further expands access to breakthrough cancer research for millions of Florida residents.
“We look forward to continuing to work with our elected officials to improve the lives of patients and the communities we serve.”