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Aventura Hospital and Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center Host Southeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative

(July 2010) – Members of the Southeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative attended their quarterly meeting at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center recently to discuss implementation of the State of Florida’s Cancer Control Plan.  The SFCCC, Co-Chaired by Phil Fusca, MSW, Cancer Care Navigator of Aventura Comprehensive Cancer Center, is comprised of various community agencies, facilities and hospitals from an 11-county southeast Florida region and is one of 5 statewide collaboratives formed through a partnership with the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 

Four initiatives discussed included connecting closer with tobacco/obesity efforts through the stimulus grants, exploring and enhancing Cancer Navigator/Community Health Worker programs throughout the region, increased cancer screening opportunities and exploring and enhancing the continuum of care for cancer survivors.

Sue Higgins, MPH, Program Manager, Comprehensive Cancer Control Program of the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee was on hand to explain the initiatives that are part of a greater, nationwide cancer control effort.  “We have made a tremendous amount of progress over the last year,” she commented while discussing the strategies for the initiatives, “Having this regional collaborative will be instrumental in program development.” 

Janet L. Nguyen-Sperry, MD, Cancer Center Radiation Oncologist, provided the educational component to the gathering, speaking on a topic of current relevance due to the increased prevalence: “HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Cancer: A New Disease.”  Many of the attendees were surprised to learn of the common risk factors and treatment options available. 

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center CEO Heather Rohan and Cancer Center Director Mishelle Cullen welcomed and thanked the Collaborative for their efforts; especially for the provision of the supportive handbooks for cancer patients which was a Collaborative project.  “These booklets will be very helpful to our patients,” stated Ms. Cullen.

“We’re very proud to be affiliated with such an outstanding organization,” echoed Ms. Rohan, and, “We look forward to future projects and programs serving to enhance our patients’ quality of life.” 

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