The center is part of the hospital's $220 million cancer institute.
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is expanding, not only in treatment technology but also in coverage area.
Officials broke ground on on Sarasota Memorial’s first radiation oncology center at its University Parkway Campus Wednesday. This center is one of two facilities Sarasota Memorial is constructing as part of its $220 million evolving cancer institute.
The 17,000-square-foot center will include two linear accelerators for external beam radiation, which provides greater precision in treating cancers, a CT simulator to define location, shape and size of a treatment area and a serenity patio to promote healing.
“We are celebrating more than ground breaking today,” said Lorrie Liang, Sarasota Memorial chief operating officer. “Ensuring cancer patients have access to a multidisciplinary team of fellowship trained oncology specialists, uniquely trained staff and state-of-the-art radiation therapy is our first step in evolving cancer care in Sarasota, because sadly, we recognize that cancer is not going away.”
The American Cancer Society found that one in two men and one and three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Nearly 1.7 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer in 2018, Liang said, with the state of Florida ranking second out of states with the most cancer patients.
“As our population grows, and as we all grow older, the impact of cancer will be profound for our community,” Liang said. “That’s the impetuous behind Sarasota Memorial’s cancer institute — to ensure our patients have access to full range of cancer specialists and sub specialists, and the best treatment and technologies to treat and beat cancer.”
Chief Medical Officer James Fiorica said that even though cancer is on the rise, cancer mortality is actually falling. Cancer is one of the most complex conditions to treat, Fiorica said, and because of the new technologies being installed at Sarasota Memorial, doctors can create personalized smart treatment plans for each individual patient rather than using trial and error treatment.
This center will be part of Sarasota Memorial’s comprehensive Cancer Institute, an oncology tower located on Sarasota Memorial’s main campus, that will consolidate inpatient and surgical cancer services. This larger, 170,000-square-foot building will feature 56 private suites for hospitalized cancer patients, nine new operating rooms with a dedicated robotic surgery suite and integrative care services that includes family and caregiver support.
A third phase, which is still in planning, will include an outpatient cancer pavilion on the main campus.
Construction on the radiation oncology center is slated to begin later this year and be complete by summer 2020.