Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, UF and Shands Launch Cancer Affiliation In Big Bend Region

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and UF&Shands, the University of Florida Academic Health Center, today announced an affiliation to expand cancer care options for patients in the Big Bend region and bring world-class cancer care to Tallahassee.

“Often providers cannot independently serve all the needs of their patients in their communities and benefit from connecting with other health care organizations, such as UF&Shands,” said Mark O’Bryant, President & CEO, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. “As one of the national leaders in cancer care, UF&Shands is an ideal partner for expanding our oncology offerings here at TMH.”

The benefits of this affiliation include:
• Sharing of expertise and development of best practices to improve clinical quality and patient safety.
• Improved access to UF’s oncology-related clinical trials.
• A focus on innovation, education and collaboration between cancer research teams and educators to benefit scientists, medical staffs and physicians-in-training.
• Development of a collaborative physician model for the Tallahassee Memorial cancer program.

“We are committed to serving patients throughout Florida with quality health care that is accessible and well-coordinated,” said David S. Guzick, MD, PhD, UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF&Shands. “It is critical for us to establish regional relationships with like-minded partners and share resources and expertise. Together, we can improve the health of our communities, ensure people have access to the latest research, and give our outstanding medical staff opportunities to collaborate and innovate.”

UF&Shands includes the UF College of Medicine, the Shands family of hospitals (including the Shands Cancer Hospital), the UF Shands Cancer Center and the Davis Cancer Pavilion, an outpatient facility.

“UF&Shands and Tallahassee Memorial have established a very positive, long-standing relationship and a shared goal to provide Tallahassee-area patients with efficient access to needed services,” said Tim Goldfarb, CEO of Shands HealthCare. “In most cases patients will be cared for in their local community, but when there’s a need for someone to travel to Gainesville because a particular treatment would not otherwise be available, this program affiliation will facilitate that patient’s receipt of timely Gainesville care and then ensure an expedited return to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, with coordination and continued communication between our respective medical teams. Our goal is to support TMH’s interest in providing their patients with broader options for care, both locally and remotely, and to deliver cancer-related health care services more efficiently and effectively in tandem with Tallahassee Memorial.”

Working together will enable practitioners to leverage their collective experience and take cancer care to a new level, officials said.

“After completing my medical education and training at UF&Shands, I can attest to the expert knowledge and leading research of the institution,” said Tim Broeseker, MD, Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center. “Through this cancer affiliation, our patients at the Tallahassee Memorial Cancer Center have access to more research, physicians and collaborative medical care close to home.”