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Published on October 11, 2015

Mayo Clinic, St. Vincent's to be partners on cancer center in Riverside

By Charlie Patton, Florida Times-Union

St. Vincent’s HealthCare and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville agreed to collaborate on a new cancer clinic which will be located on the campus of St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside.

St. Vincent’s will build and equip the 11,500-square-foot clinic and provide administrative and support staff. The Mayo Clinic will provide the physicians for what will be called the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center at St. Vincent’s Riverside.

“We’ll create a clinic and they’ll provide the medical staff,” said Michael Schatzlein, CEO of St. Vincent’s HealthCare. “... We are thrilled to collaborate with a local health system that is known worldwide for delivering superior cancer care. Every year, thousands of patients travel across the globe to be treated by Mayo Clinic physicians, and now, St. Vincent’s will offer our patients the same high-quality care right here on our Riverside campus.”

Gianrico Farrugia, Mayo’s CEO in Jacksonville, said Mayo will probably staff the center at St. Vincent’s with two full-time physicians while another 18 will rotate through the facility, seeing patients at both Mayo and St. Vincent’s.

He anticipates treating about 1,000 cancer patients annually at St. Vincent’s. That would increase the number of Floridians the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville treats for cancer to about 3,400, 3.4 percent of the 100,000 Floridians who are diagnosed with cancer each year. About a third of the 100,000 patients Mayo treats in Jacksonville annually have cancer as their primary medical issue.

The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center at St. Vincent’s Riverside, which will be built on the fourth floor of the DePaul Building at St. Vincent’s Riverside, is expected to open in the summer of 2016. It will include an infusion center for chemotherapy and specialized care for various types of cancer.

The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville was ranked 48th in the country in cancer treatment in the most recent U.S. News & World Report’s hospital ratings. It is one of 45 cancer centers in the U.S. designated a Certified Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. It was designated in April as one of four Cancer Centers of Excellence in the state of Florida by the Florida Department of Health.

St. Vincent’s Riverside has one of the longest-running cancer programs in the country, with more than 50 years of continual accreditation by the American College of Surgeons.

“This brings two strong programs together to build an even stronger one,” Schatzlein said.

Farrugia said the decision to collaborate on a cancer center grew out of talks between leaders at Mayo and at St. Vincent’s HealthCare about ways they could work together.

“Both institutions are an important part of the local fabric of this great community,” he said. “By joining forces, we will only strengthen the delivery and quality of cancer care in this region.”

Schatzlein, who has been on the job at St. Vincent’s for less than six weeks, credited David Meyer, St. Vincent’s HealthCare’s chief strategy/marketing officer, and Hugh Middlebrooks, the general counsel, with spearheading the project on St. Vincent’s side.

The announcement came just after the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center opened in San Marco. Baptist Health announced about a year ago that it would become the third member of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Network. MD Anderson was ranked number one for cancer care in the most recent U.S. News ratings.

Farrugia said the Baptist/MD Anderson partnership was not a factor in Mayo’s decision to partner with St. Vincent’s.

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