November 23, 2022 by Peter B. Laird
Miami Cancer Institute Five Years Later: ‘Impacting Cancer Care for Years to Come”
Cancer care in Florida has come a long way in five years, boosted in large part by the arrival of Miami Cancer Institute, which hospital executives say has made it possible for patients in South Florida to receive the life-saving treatments they need from some of the nation’s top cancer specialists – without ever having to leave the area.
(Watch now: Miami Cancer Institute celebrates five years of saving lives and advancing cancer care in South Florida and beyond. Video by Carol Higgins.)
“January 26 marks five years since Miami Cancer Institute’s grand opening,” says its CEO and executive medical director, Michael Zinner, M.D., who presided over the Institute’s opening in 2016. “We’re proud of what we have achieved in such a short time.”
Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health South Florida, is one of the largest cancer centers in Florida. Like Dr. Zinner, Leonard Kalman, M.D., the Institute’s executive deputy medical director and chief medical officer, has also been there from the first day. “Miami Cancer Institute has surgical, medical and radiation oncologists prepared to treat every common and rare cancer,” says Dr. Kalman. “This clinical expertise is combined with the latest cancer-fighting technologies, all under one roof.”
Dr. Zinner notes that Miami Cancer Institute has grown year after year with the addition of life-saving technologies, services and, of course, top physicians and staff. “We launched our proton therapy program in 2018 and by last year we had already treated more than 1,000 patients,” says Dr. Zinner. “We also welcomed the arrival of MR-Linac technology, which allows for ultra-precise targeting of radiation beams directly to cancerous cells.” This, he notes, helps spare healthy surrounding tissue, thereby minimizing side effects and improving patient outcomes.
In 2019, Dr. Zinner says, Miami Cancer Institute joined forces with Lynn Cancer Institute when Boca Raton Regional Hospital was purchased by Baptist Health. And in 2020, it expanded its services to Broward County with the opening of an outpatient cancer clinic in Baptist Health’s multi-discipline health and wellness complex in Plantation.
Dr. Zinner is quick to emphasize, however, that Miami Cancer Institute’s success and national prominence is less about bricks and mortar and machines, and more about offering the best, most compassionate care to people diagnosed with any type of cancer.
“We recognize that every patient’s cancer journey is unique, so we offer personalized treatments and services tailored to the patient,” Dr. Zinner says. “We also offer clinical trials for multiple cancer types.” In addition, he says, the Institute has launched innovative programs such as “Arts in Medicine,” which provides for seven artists in residence, year-round, at the cancer center. “Their only job is to bring music and art into the lives of our patients, their caregivers and our staff,” he says. “It’s a wonderful way to help patients minimize their stress.”
Dr. Zinner also credits the physicians and staff at Miami Cancer Institute for helping build its national reputation over the past five years.
“We’ve brought together some of the leading experts in their respective fields, from renowned academic institutions across the globe,” Dr. Zinner says. “At Miami Cancer Institute, they work in a multi-disciplinary environment with a shared focus on helping every single one of our patients beat cancer,” Dr. Zinner says.
Others are always eager to know what the Institute’s experts have to say, Dr. Zinner adds. “Our physicians and staff are often asked to share their expertise at medical conferences around the world, as well as in frequent interviews with local and national media.” It’s just one of the reasons why Miami Cancer Institute has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its outstanding care, he says.
In addition, says Dr. Zinner, clinical research teams at Miami Cancer Institute are advancing knowledge on numerous fronts in the fight against cancer. “Every day, from our clinics to our Office of Clinical Research, our experts are contributing vital information that promises to impact cancer care for years to come,” he says.
According to Miami Cancer Institute’s chief operating officer Mark Davis, M.D., who has helped build and advance healthcare systems around the world, the Institute is well-positioned to expand on its reputation as a leader in the fight against cancer. “There is no better team than Miami Cancer Institute and Baptist Health South Florida,” Dr. Davis says. “People in the region may not realize how fortunate they are to have such an incredible resource right here in their own backyard.”