South Florida Hospital News
Saturday November 17, 2018

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January 2006 - Volume 2 - Issue 7



‘Three Cs’ … High on the list at Memorial Healthcare System

While Memorial Healthcare System is noted for an array of exceptional services, it is obvious that the Broward County-based system is committed to cancer management, cardiac care … and children.

The system has been recognized for its comprehensive programs and services throughout south Florida, serving an ever-changing population and addressing head-on the specific healthcare needs of its census draw.

Façade of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital

Opened less than a year ago, the Memorial Breast Cancer Center, in Hollywood, combines visual tranquility, a custom designed treatment plan that may include the healing treatments and philosophies of Eastern and Western cultures, and the most current technological "tackle" of breast cancer.

With the belief that healing is not solely due to medication and clinical treatment, the cancer management team at the Center also provides a soothing, tranquil environment – rich and stimulating with art and music. Pastoral landscapes cover the walls, soft music lets weary and worried minds take a brief "vacation" from the stress associated with cancer, and an interactive team of pathologists, surgeons, oncologists and nurse practitioners help navigate a patient through their treatment and healing journey. Patients also have the option of incorporating alternative therapies into their treatment, including acupuncture, massage and Chinese herbal medicine. A relaxed and tranquil mind and body may well be more receptive to the traditional, clinical components of cancer treatment and management. The Center is also the first site in the United States to test the investigational oral therapy lapatinib as the first-line single treatment for stage IV metastatic breast cancer. The trials are met enthusiastically as a new beacon of hope for those patients with a more aggressive and advanced form of the disease.

"It’s imperative to find a medical team that focuses on the wellness of the patient, as well as the management of the cancer," says the center’s co-director Dr. Alejandra Perez. "This is the essence of our program."

Community leaders and healthcare professionals of Memorial Healthcare System gather to celebrate the grand opening of the Memorial Breast Cancer Center.

Her fellow director, Dr. Sandra Franco, shares that belief in a holistic approach to meeting breast cancer "head on."

"Our program is designed to give patients every tool they may need to fight their battle against breast cancer. Very few institutions offer a separate Breast Cancer Center – or even have a true team approach to breast care with an individual focus," she adds.

Innovative ways to manage breast cancer are not the only means by which Memorial is taking on challenging and frightening health threats. Memorial has also been granted "Primary Stroke Center" certification by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). One of only five JCAHO certified programs in Florida, Memorial operates Stroke Centers in two sites within its system – one at Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, and another at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines. The JCAHO certification reflects the recommendation of the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association and recognizes selected medical facilities for their advanced stroke care and identifies the hospitals offering the best possible outcomes for stroke – the nation’s third leading killer and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.

However, with greater stroke awareness, prevention, early detection and the efforts of an exceptional Brain Attack Team, Memorial’s stroke program is "striking out" at stroke.

The benefits of the Brain Attack Program include:

  • Reduced stroke complications and fewer deaths
  • Improved long-term outcomes therapies
  • Improved efficiency of patient care
  • Increased patient satisfaction
"We are extremely proud of the physicians, nurses, support and ancillary staff who work diligently to make this (JCAHO certification) distinction possible," says Memorial Regional Administrator J. E. Piriz. "It is a testament of Memorial’s dedication and commitment to offer the best health care available to residents of South Broward County … and beyond.

One of Memorial Healthcare System’s mobile health units that tour south Broward cities, providing a host of primary care services to the community.

"Beyond" may include Memorial’s commitment to children with sickle cell. Its outreach extends throughout Broward, Palm Beach and Treasure Coast. The Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation (another arm of Memorial’s expanding network) was recently awarded a $1.1 million grant for infants with sickle cell and families who carry the genetic sickle cell trait.

"The PASS program (a Florida Partnership for Access to Sickle Cell Services) will create a seamless system of notification and follow-up," according to Dr. Lanetta Bronte, Director of Sickle Cell Services at Memorial Cancer Institute. "It will give this South Florida region the tools and resources to address the needs of our adolescent population as they prepare to independently manage their own health care."

The PASS grant will also enable the development of a database of newly diagnosed newborns with the disease – or even the trait. Because not all parents follow up after notification, the grant also strengthens a collaboration of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Children’s Medical Service (CMS) and the Sickle Cell Foundation of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. This collaboration cements the importance and the interweave of notification, follow-up, extended family testing, outreach, psychosocial support, genetic counseling, and education for affected individuals and their families.

The Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is the state-designated Regional Sickle Cell Disease Center. From educating and treating children with sickle cell, to providing a warm healing environment for breast cancer patients, to being on the cutting edge of acute stroke and cardiac management, Memorial Healthcare System is continually broadening its services and programs, and strengthening its commitment to its communities.

For more information about Memorial Healthcare System and its programs, visit
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