News

10.14.2014

Sylvester Unveils Philip and Linda Corey Patient Reception Area at Interventional Radiology Clinic

With the cutting of a ceremonial, bright orange ribbon, the leadership and faculty of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine officially unveiled the new Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Interventional Radiology Clinic, and dedicated the new Philip and Linda Corey Patient Reception area.

Both areas will provide patients with a full-time, dedicated clinical space for certain interventional radiology procedures. Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D. said the Miller School is fortunate to have the support of generous donors who help build new pillars to UHealth – the University of Miami Health System.

“Phil and Linda Corey are supporters who are passionate about helping to take the Miller School of Medicine and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to the next level,” said Goldschmidt, who is also Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and CEO of the University of Miami Health System. “I would like to thank them for their vision and commitment. It gives me a great sense of pride to see friends like them recognize the vast potential of our physicians to save lives.”

The grand opening was held October 2 on the fifth floor (Room 508) of the Professional Arts Center, which serves as the home of the clinic. Several dozen people filled the warm and inviting reception area, which was made possible by a $100,000 gift from Phil and Linda Corey. Phil Corey is a longtime patient whose care, in large part, has been provided by the section of Interventional Radiology.

In 2013, the Coreys also supported the unveiling of a new angiography suite at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics. The dedication included the nation’s first installation of a Siemens Artis Q imaging system, which provides image-guided, targeted treatments that allow for shorter recovery and less risk and pain compared to traditional surgery.

Interventional radiology often provides a minimally invasive alternative to surgery for a wide range of conditions, including arterial, dialysis, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and oncological interventions.

“Over the past several years, interventional radiology has become a vitally important resource for the treatment of cancer,” said Stephen Nimer, M.D., professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology and Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “It provides unique opportunities to target a patient’s cancer cells, while sparing normal tissue. It gives cancer doctors new options, and provides new hope and possibilities for our patients.”

In addition to the reception area, the clinic has three exams rooms, a nurses’ station, intake area, and a minor procedure room, where doctors will eventually handle ultrasound-based cases, and vein ablations for clinical and cosmetic purposes.

Govindarajan Narayanan, M.D., the Chief Medical Director of the new clinic, said the opening is just the latest step in the growth of interventional radiology, and the subspecialty interventional oncology, at the Miller School.

“This clinic puts what we always wanted in perspective: to be able to be a part of the clinical paradigm of patient care, not just doing the procedure,” said Narayanan, professor of clinical radiology, Chief of the Section of Vascular/Interventional Radiology and Director of the Vascular/Interventional Radiology Fellowship Program. “Now we see our patients in consults, we admit them, include them in our rounds, and discharge them. It’s the whole spectrum of care which increases our credibility and makes us viewed more as a clinician, rather than a technician.”

Narayanan says there have been major innovations in the field of interventional oncology in the last decade, improving not just diagnoses, but also treatment of cancer through ablations and transarterial chemo embolization (TACE), where physicians weave a catheter through the artery of a patient, directly to the vessel that feeds the tumor. In that way, they can deliver the chemotherapy in a higher dose locally, rather than having the patient suffer the many side effects of traditional treatment that is given to the whole body.

Robert M. Quencer, M.D., the Chair of the Department of Radiology, said the grand opening marked an important day for the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Miller School of Medicine, and the Department of Radiology.

“It reflects dynamic growth of a medical specialty that is rapidly progressing and has a huge future in front of it,” said Quencer, who is also the Robert Shapiro, M.D. Professor of Radiology. “This clinic is important because it allows the treatment and evaluation of patients to be done in a very comfortable environment.”

Over the past four years, the number of interventional radiology procedures performed has doubled, while the staff and faculty have grown by 50 percent in that same period of time.

“In the past few years, interventional radiology has grown significantly, so our consult population is growing, especially with oncology patients,” said Evelyn Wempe, M.B.A., ARNP, Director of the Department of Interventional Radiology at UMHC/Sylvester and the new IR clinic. “We needed a dedicated area to be better able to provide opportunities for patients to meet with the doctors and receive education regarding their treatment.”

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