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Business Observer Thursday, Jul. 23, 2020 4 months ago

Radiation oncology center to open in early August

The opening will complete the first phase of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System's comprehensive Cancer Institute.

SARASOTA — Sarasota Memorial Health Care System will open its new $27 million radiation oncology center on Aug. 3. 

The opening will complete the first phase of the system's comprehensive Cancer Institute. It also marks the first time the local health system has provided external beam radiation services to patients on the Suncoast, according to a press release. 

The radiation oncology center is in Sarasota Memorial’s University Parkway campus. The 18,000-square-foot facility has two Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators designed to precisely target tumors and spare healthy cells from unnecessary radiation exposure. The technology enables the latest image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery to safely treat smaller tumors in the head, neck, lung, breast, abdomen, spine, prostate and other areas, the release says. 

“It’s the gold standard for radiation oncology with a lot of technology in one package,” says Dr. Kunal Saigal, a radiation oncologist with Florida Cancer Specialists who serves as medical director of Sarasota Memorial’s outpatient radiation center, in a statement. “We want to deliver the most cutting edge, evidence-based radiation oncology treatments available. This is just the beginning.”

Led by Saigal, the center’s team includes an on-site medical physicist, medical dosimetrists, radiation therapists, an RN and an LPN.

The center was designed with input from local cancer survivors. It includes natural light, a patio with water features, a garden and a support services suite with access to counseling, patient navigation, financial counseling and other support services.

The second phase of the Cancer Institute is a new oncology tower under construction and scheduled to open on SMH’s main campus in fall 2021. 

The costs of construction are supported in part by a Sarasota Memorial Health Care Foundation capital campaign.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has more than 900,000 patient visits each year. The system includes a 839-bed, acute-care hospital. 

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