Sylvester to Collaborate on Oncology Training in the Dominican Republic

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dominican Republic’s Instituto de Oncologia Dr. Heriberto Pieter. The agreement allows Miller School oncology experts to provide their evidence-based expertise to improve cancer care, research and clinical trial initiatives and health outcomes in the Dominican Republic.

“Sylvester is a world-class institution and this is an important collaboration,” said Thinh H. Tran, M.D., MBA, Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the University of Miami Health System. “This collaboration is an opportunity for us to provide academic health expertise for our communities in the D.R. and the Caribbean.”

The Santo Domingo-based institute provides comprehensive cancer services and the partnership with Sylvester is expected to give a strong boost to the center’s overall capacity.

“This is really a dream come true because for many years our hospital has been trying to get an association with an important oncology program in the United States,” said Jose Ramirez, M.D., medical director of the Instituto de Oncologia Dr. Heriberto Pieter.

The partnership was formed under the leadership of UM’s International Medicine Institute.

“The University of Miami Health System is a leading destination for health care, education and research in the hemisphere,” said Barbara Ronda, MHSA, Associate Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for UHealth. “Lending support to Instituto de Oncologia furthers UM’s collaboration with the international scientific community in an effort to increase contributions to science, knowledge and resource sharing to the benefit of both health care systems and the populations we jointly serve.”

International education and training support has long been a component of Sylvester’s mission.

“This really helps us further our mission of improving patient care, education and research, not just in South Florida but in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Gilberto Lopes, M.D., Sylvester’s Medical Director for International Programs and Associate Director for Global Oncology.

As part of the collaboration, Instituto de Oncologia will receive support from a host of Sylvester specialists. Given the Dominican Republic’s significant rates of cervical cancer, Brian M. Slomovitz, M.D., Sylvester’s Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said there is an urgency to UM and the institute forming this relationship.

“On behalf of Sylvester’s Division of Gynecologic Oncology, we’re looking forward to fostering a relationship that gives us the opportunity to work closely with our colleagues there, but more importantly to decrease the deaths due to cervical cancer, and that’s something we can do.”

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