Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was honored recently at the Colony Hotel Palm Beach for being the only cancer center in South Florida to achieve National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation.
The cocktail reception was hosted by Palm Beach residents Janet and Mark Levy.
“NCI designation is a phenomenal achievement for Sylvester, and it means a great deal to us as Palm Beach residents,” said Janet Levy. “We can now receive world-class specialized treatment options and benefit from groundbreaking cancer research here in South Florida.”
Among the speakers were Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., who led the NCI designation effort, and Edward Abraham, M.D., executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of the University of Miami Health System. Both spoke about the significance of the NCI designation to the more than 100 guests in attendance.
"Sylvester is now one of only 71 NCI-designated cancer centers nationwide, and one of just two in the state of Florida,” said Dr. Abraham. “For patients, that means access to cutting-edge clinical trials not available anywhere else in South Florida.”
“Receiving NCI designation took seven years of hard work and dedication to excellence,” said Dr. Nimer, who is also the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology. “We want the Palm Beach community to know the incredible contributions Sylvester researchers are making toward important progress against cancer, and will be even better positioned to make in the future.”
Dr. Nimer noted that Sylvester has recruited 160 top cancer physicians, surgeons, and scientists since he arrived in 2012, giving local access to world-class cancer specialists. Guests at the event were among the first to hear of UHealth’s plans to open a concierge and primary care center on Palm Beach Island.
Sylvester’s partnership with the Palm Beach community also includes the Firefighter Cancer Initiative, a long-term study of ways to define, reduce, and prevent cancer risks for local firefighters. Sylvester’s efforts to strengthen outreach and improve access to the highest quality of care and life-saving research were key areas of focus at the event.