Newswise — Orlando, FL (December 19, 2013) – Orlando Health and University of Florida Health have announced they have joined forces to establish one of the state’s largest, most comprehensive cancer programs.

The UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health will expand care and treatment options for patients throughout the region, at a time when statistics show the number of cancer cases in Florida is rising.

According to recent studies by the National Cancer Institute, Florida now has the second-largest cancer burden in America, and cancer has surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death in the Sunshine State.

“A need of this magnitude requires an innovative strategy for meeting this growing demand for cancer treatment and care,” said Orlando Health Board Chair Dianna Morgan. “By connecting some of the nation’s most experienced cancer doctors and leading cancer researchers, we can collaborate to provide the best possible care and the most favorable treatment outcomes for cancer patients.”

The program officially begins Jan. 31, when Orlando Health’s affiliation agreement with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center expires. Orlando patients will continue to receive their cancer care with the same Orlando Health physicians, oncologists, surgeons and staff they have come to know and trust. In addition, patients also will have more options for leading-edge treatment and expanded access to additional specialists, new drugs, clinical trials and other resources. The program also provides greater flexibility by offering care at community medical facilities closer to patients’ homes, whether in the Orlando or Gainesville areas.

"This is an important new step for cancer treatment in Florida," said UF President Bernie Machen. "By connecting our university's research and treatment expertise with the exceptional health care organization that is Orlando Health, we bolster our capacity to improve patient care and outcomes."

Mark Roh, MD will be president of the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health. He is currently president of MD Anderson-Orlando.

“The medical staff and faculty in Orlando and Gainesville are excited to be working together to expand cancer treatments and services for our patients. This will revolutionize cancer care for patients throughout Florida,” Roh said. One of the first new initiatives to launch at the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health will be personalized cancer care. With an anticipated introduction in the spring of 2014, Dr. Phillips Charities has committed $1.5 million to the program, which offers the most promising direction in cancer treatment. Personalized cancer care involves genetic exploration of tumors and appropriate chemotherapy treatments based on that analysis.

“We deeply appreciate the very generous support of Dr. Phillips Charities to help us fulfill our mission to the community,” Roh added. “Their strong and generous support of Orlando Health over many years has helped us help thousands of patients and their families.”

Both Orlando Health and UF Health are highly respected with a rich history as health care leaders. Orlando Health includes central Florida’s first teaching hospital and its oncology services employ a specialized multidisciplinary approach ensuring each patient benefits from the expertise of a team of professionals. UF Health includes the state’s premier teaching hospital and its world-class physicians, nursing staff and providers are recognized regionally and nationally for their expertise.

“Everything we do at UF Health is centered on our patients and our mission to improve quality of life. We are unwavering in our commitment to address the health needs of Floridians with the most compassionate, highest-quality care,” said David S. Guzick, MD, PhD, UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of UF Health. “This new relationship will create Florida’s leading program to respond to the state’s increasing demands for oncology clinical care and research.”

About UF HealthUniversity of Florida Health is the Southeast’s most comprehensive academic health center. With main campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville, UF Health includes six health colleges, seven research institutes and centers, two teaching hospitals, two specialty hospitals, and a host of physician medical practices and outpatient services throughout north central and northeast Florida. Our mission is to promote health through outstanding and high-quality patient care, innovative and rigorous education in the health professions and biomedical sciences, and high-impact research across the spectrum of basic, translational and clinical investigation.

UF Health includes the UF colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine, which includes both a large animal hospital and a small animal hospital. The system also encompasses seven UF research institutes and centers: the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of UF, the UF Genetics Institute, the UF Health Cancer Center, the UF Institute on Aging, the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, and the UF Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona.

The full spectrum of patient-care services are provided through UF Health Shands and UF Health Jacksonville, UF’s private, not-for-profit affiliates. UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville includes UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital. The specialty hospitals, UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital and UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital, are also located in Gainesville. UF Health Jacksonville is the system’s northeast Florida teaching hospital.

UF Health offers a network of outpatient rehabilitation centers, UF Health Rehab Centers; two home health agencies in Gainesville and Jacksonville; and more than 80 UF Health physician outpatient practices located throughout north central and northeast Florida.UF Health Shands also owns an interest in three rural community hospitals in Lake City, Live Oak and Starke and an urgent care center in Gainesville.

About Orlando Health Orlando Health is a $1.9 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals and care centers throughout Central Florida.

The organization, which includes Physician Associates, one of the largest multispecialty practices in central Florida and the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics, is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. They are: Orlando Regional Medical Center; Dr. P. Phillips Hospital; South Seminole Hospital; Health Central Hospital, the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, which consists of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies; the UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health (effective January 31, 2014), South Lake Hospital (50 percent affiliation); and St. Cloud Regional Medical Center (20 percent affiliation). Areas of clinical excellence are heart and vascular, cancer care, neurosciences, surgery, pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatology, and women’s health.

Orlando Health is one of Central Florida’s largest employers with nearly 15,000 employees and more than 2,500 affiliated physicians supporting our philosophy of providing high quality care and service that revolves around patients’ needs. We prove this everyday with over 110,000 inpatient admissions and nearly 690,000 outpatient visits each year. In all, Orlando Health serves 1.6 million Central Florida residents and nearly 3,000 international patients annually. Additionally, Orlando Health provides approximately $239 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at

About Dr. Phillips CharitiesDr. Phillips Charities honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to the motto “to help others help themselves.”

Once considered the largest citrus producer in the world, Dr. Philip Phillips left a legacy that has spanned several generations culminating in the establishment of Dr. Phillips Charities, comprised of The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc. As stewards of the Phillips family legacy for over 50 years, Dr. Phillips Charities bears the ethical responsibility of ensuring that its charitable contributions honor and contribute to the Phillips family vision. Dr. Phillips Charities is well known in Central Florida for its grant support to worthy capital projects and innovative programs of non-profit organizations that address critical community needs, demonstrate the potential for ongoing community support, and have a significant, lasting impact on the community.

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