Miami Cancer Institute is near completion
Written by John Charles Robbins on September 6, 2016
With rapid construction, the state-of-the-art Miami Cancer Institute is near completion. In mid-October the first round of employees will be moving in, said a spokesperson for Baptist Health South Florida.
Doors are expected to open for patients just after the first of the year, commencing about Jan. 16.
Miami Cancer Institute will feature cutting-edge research, clinical trials and technology, including the only proton therapy treatment in South Florida.
The sleek $430 million center is rising at 8900 N Kendall Drive, adjacent to Baptist Hospital of Miami.
The modern institute brings Baptist Health’s outpatient cancer services together under one roof to offer 305,000 square feet of clinical services and cutting-edge technology.
Its 140,000-square-foot research building will house an extensive clinical trial team on a dedicated floor, a genomic medicine laboratory, additional clinical space planned for bone marrow transplant patients and a unique outpatient palliative care clinic, among other services.
The institute will be home to South Florida’s first proton therapy center, offering a sophisticated treatment that destroys cancer cells with highly-targeted radiation while avoiding healthy tissue and minimizing side effects, making it particularly effective in treating childhood cancers and adult cancers of the brain, liver and lung, as well as certain left-sided breast cancers and prostate cancers.
The 220-ton proton therapy cyclotron arrived in June.
“The arrival of the cyclotron signifies the beginning of the most sophisticated cancer treatment technology in the history of our organization,” said Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health South Florida. “This historic milestone is not just one for Baptist Health to celebrate, but one for our entire community as we come together in the fight against cancer.”
Arrival of the proton therapy unit changes patient care in South Florida, said Michael J. Zinner, M.D., founding CEO and executive medical director of the institute.
“Miami Cancer Institute will be among the very few facilities worldwide to provide every available radiation therapy technology all in one location,” Dr. Zinner said. “Combined with our commitment to caring for patients from their diagnosis, through their complex treatment and onto survivorship, we ensure that we’re right alongside them and their families during this journey.”
The proton therapy treatment is expected to commence closer to summer 2017, according to the Baptist Health spokesperson.
Baptist Health says it is assembling a roster of world-class cancer experts for Miami Cancer Institute.
Team members include Leonard Kalman, M.D., deputy medical director and chief medical officer; Michele Ryder, R.N., chief operating officer and chief nursing officer; Minesh Mehta, M.D., deputy director and chief of radiation oncology; Miguel Villalona Calero, M.D., deputy director and chief scientific officer; and Jeff Boyd, Ph.D., director of translational research and genomic medicine.
In late July, Baptist Health announced two others joining the staff: Cancer specialist Vy Dinh, M.D., and palliative care specialist Mariana Khawand-Azoulai, M.D. Dr. Dinh is a hospitalist oncologist who cares for cancer patients who are hospitalized. As part of the institute’s cancer support services team, Dr. Khawand-Azoulai will provide outpatient palliative care, including pain and symptom management and psychosocial support.
In addition to the services at Baptist Health, a Hilton Hotel is to open in 2018, offering out-of-town patients and their families convenient access to care.
Miami Cancer Institute has announced plans to join the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance, a partnership that will ultimately enable cancer patients to access potential breakthrough therapies in South Florida.
Baptist Health South Florida is one of the largest healthcare organizations in the region, with seven hospitals, nearly 50 outpatient and urgent care facilities, Baptist Health Medical Group, and Baptist Health Quality Network.
The not-for-profit, faith-based Baptist Health has about 16,000 employees and 2,300 affiliated physicians.