On Dec. 16, we announced the creation of the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health.
The UF Department of Urology has been working collaboratively with Orlando Health since July 2012 to create a urologic services program led by department chair Johannes Vieweg, M.D. This is evolving as a comprehensive service staffed by UF faculty, Orlando Health urologists and private practitioners under a single governance umbrella that promotes common clinical pathways, joint educational conferences and joint quality programs.
Our 2010 Strategic Plan (“Forward Together”) puts quality patient care at the heart of everything we do, and expresses a commitment to our local community, our region and the state of Florida. Indeed, as stated in Forward Together, “our goal is to develop a regional approach to the provision of health care that presents an effective model for the state and the nation.”
As systems of health care delivery evolve, academic health centers like ours are increasingly taking responsibility for the health needs of an overall population. The goal is to create a system that improves health through prevention, through early diagnosis and treatment of acute illness, and through optimal management of chronic illness — focusing on the home and on outpatient services that maintain the highest quality of life possible.
When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer, our goal is to bring the best minds together, from all pertinent disciplines, to understand the medical history of that particular patient and all the findings related to his or her specific cancer, and determine the best treatment based on accumulated medical evidence.
The immediate population we serve is, of course, Gainesville and the surrounding region. Indeed, in the course of implementing our strategic plan, we have invigorated our commitment to serving our community as the first choice for any health care need, from primary care through the most highly specialized service. In view of our statewide mission as Florida’s premier integrated academic health center, however, along with the goals of population health care, it has become increasingly apparent that patients in both the Gainesville and Orlando regions would benefit from coordination of the services of health systems in their respective communities. As applied to the new UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health, this means that a patient with newly diagnosed cancer now will benefit from a larger number of experts giving thought to his or her particular situation, exchanging relevant scientific and clinical data, and making treatment decisions on that basis.
In view of these considerations, and in recognition that we have common goals and a shared commitment to quality as Job 1, on Oct. 14, 2010 Orlando Health and UF Health (i.e., the University of Florida and Shands HealthCare) announced a memorandum of understanding “to form joint clinical programs in the areas of pediatrics, neuroscience, oncology, women’s health, and transplantation and cardiovascular medicine.” It was also stated that UF Health and Orlando Health would “look to increase undergraduate and graduate medical residency and fellowship training opportunities at Orlando Health, and open opportunities for conducting clinical trials through UF’s robust clinical research program, while also launching common approaches to quality care and safety initiatives.”