As the largest independent oncology/hematology practice in the United States, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) collaborates on a daily basis with some of the nation’s best hospitals and cancer treatment centers. In Collier and South Lee counties, the close and long-lasting relationship with the NCH Healthcare System provides a seamless continuum of care for cancer patients in the Naples and Bonita Springs communities.
A prime example of this partnership occurred when patient Karl Green (pseudonym) contacted Roy Threet, NCH’s administrator of the oncology service line, after Green’s cancer surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Green wanted to coordinate his follow-up care and chemotherapy upon return to his seasonal home in Naples. Threet’s first step was to contact Dr. Joel Grossman, an oncologist at the FCS Naples office, to initiate the scheduling of Green’s follow-up care, chemotherapy and the transfer of his medical records.
The relationship between NCH and FCS is symbiotic and supportive in many ways. Through FCS, the hospital system has available an excellent group of medical oncologists and hematologists who bring top-notch specialty training and years of experience to provide the best care for shared cancer and blood disorder patients.
In addition, FCS employs an oncology/hematology hospitalist during the week on the NCH Inpatient Oncology Unit/4 South.
This FCS inpatient hospitalist practices with the support of four FCS oncology physician assistants. Unit 4 is significant as it offers a board certified oncology pharmacist and a corps of oncology certified nurses who administer chemotherapy to inpatients.
The FCS Physician Group has shown tremendous support to NCH’s Cancer Program by holding numerous leadership roles. One such position is the NCH coordinator of the weekly Cancer Conference. Here, members of the FCS group often present prospective cases and actively participate in the presentation of other cases. Daniel Morris, M.D., serves as the coordinator of the Cancer Conference – a natural role for him given his background as a former faculty member at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. FCS physicians serve on the NCH Cancer Committee and its sub-committees for the advancement of the quality and services delivered within the NCH Healthcare System.
The physicians of FCS also participate in caring for cancer patients on clinical trials for the advancement of oncology medicine, as well as for the benefit of bringing stateof-the-art care to cancer patients who have not responded to standard therapy.
Florida Cancer Specialist’s clinical trials were the primary reason that NCH’s Cancer Program was awarded a commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons during the 2012 Accreditation Survey.
The commendation was one of five the program received for exceeding ACoS standards. For three decades, the NCH Cancer Program has been accredited for its excellent service, which would not have been possible without the FCS patient accruals on clinical trials.
“NCH Healthcare System is a progressive leader in improving patient care,” said Mark S. Rubin, M.D., hematologist and oncologist with Florida Cancer Specialists. “Our partnership is significant in scope and benefit to the patients we treat in Southwest Florida.”
NCH hospitals serve as the inpatient care sites and provide imaging services for FCS patients. NCH also supports the FCS inpatients and outpatients with services including palliative care, social work services, dietitian services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, mental health services, pathology services and others that significantly improve the patient experience.
Perhaps most importantly, the relationship between the physicians of Florida Cancer Specialists and NCH Healthcare System is based on mutual respect and admiration. Both organizations work together to provide the very best care and support for patients like Karl Green and others with cancer and blood disorders who seek follow-up care following their surgeries.
An integral part of the comprehensive continuum of care for cancer patients is the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. The nonprofit organization provides non-medical living expenses (rent, mortgage, utilities, car payments, etc.) to qualified cancer patients by offering short-term, one-time financial support to individuals undergoing cancer treatment in the state of Florida.