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Published on October 11, 2015

Mayo Clinic, St. Vincent’s HealthCare to partner in cancer care

By Colleen Michele Jones, Jacksonville Business Journal

As Baptist Health prepares to open an MD Anderson-branded cancer care center on its Jacksonville campus later this month, competing local provider St. Vincent’s HealthCare has announced it will partner with Mayo Clinic to expand its cancer care services by the summer of 2016.

Though the move could easily be seen as a direct response to the introduction of big name MD Anderson into the Northeast Florida market, Michael Schatzlein, the new CEO of St. Vincent’s, said that wasn’t the case.

“This idea was in the works long before I got here,” said Schatzlein, who took over the post at St. Vincent’s in early September. “These discussions were always about how the whole — in this case, the combination of two great programs — could be better than the sum of its parts.”

St. Vincent’s and Mayo’s combined cancer care services will be housed in a 11,500-square-foot medical suite on St. Vincent’s Riverside campus, which is slated for completion by next summer. The center will be staffed by Mayo Clinic physicians, some of whom will be permanently deployed there and others who will rotate in and out of the facility. St. Vincent’s will take care of the remaining clinicial and administrative operations.

From Mayo Clinic’s perspective, the aim is to provide its renowned cancer care research and expertise to more patients directly in the community.

“For patients who use St. Vincent’s as their primary health care provider, this is an opportunity for them to also have access to Mayo Clinic’s cancer care,” said Gianrico Farrugia, CEO of Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. “Both institutions are an important part of the fabric of our community.”

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. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is one of four institutions in Florida designated by the state as a Cancer Center of Excellence and is nationally ranked in cancer in the U.S. News & World Report annual survey of more than 5,000 hospitals.

In late 2014, Baptist Health announced plans to join forces with MD Anderson Cancer Center, based in Houston, to provide cancer care to the Jacksonville region. The program, which will launch in late October, will be temporarily housed in a Baptist outpatient center on San Marco Boulevard until construction of a new 200,000-square-foot facility is completed sometime in 2017.

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