At Sarasota Memorial, we understand that beating cancer takes more than surgeries, medications and technology. It takes a team of cancer care professionals dedicated to helping you and your family through every step of your experience and a coordinated care plan that addresses not only your body’s physical needs, but also your emotional and psychosocial needs.
And so along with extremely skilled oncologists and nurses, our cancer team includes nutritionists, pain care specialists, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, mental health professionals, non-denominational chaplains and other skilled clinicians focused on your total well-being. Taken together, it is an approach that can improve and extend your quality of life.
Medical Collaboration & Case Review Our oncology team takes a multidisciplinary approach to care, with consultation, case review and treatment collaboration among medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, surgeons, pathologists and other cancer specialists – some of the most experienced, knowledgeable and respected in their fields.
Our cancer care specialists meet every week – and more frequently when needed – to discuss complex cancers and treatments, review the latest research and advanced therapies, and work together to develop the most effective treatments for cancer patients.
Our oncology-certified nurses will be there with you every step of the way, providing care that does as much to soothe your spirit as it does to heal your body. Their advanced degrees, oncology nursing certifications and amazing commitment to their profession have helped Sarasota Memorial earn "magnet" status – the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in Southwest Florida to achieve Magnet status.
Because anxiety and depression can have an adverse effect on recovery, it’s important to get help with whatever issues arise for you, your family and your friends in coping with your cancer and treatment. Expert in what resources are available to you, our oncology social worker provides help with a multitude of issues that arise, including:
Coping with the many challenges associated with cancer can be a daunting task. To ease your path, Sarasota Memorial’s Case Managers will help you every step of the way, from ensuring you are responding well to therapy in the hospital to having the all the resources you need after your discharge, including:
Oncology Care Coordinator
An oncology-certified nurse, our Oncology Care Coordinator helps patients navigate the sometimes confusing and complex process of cancer care. Without guidance, cancer patients can feel overwhelmed by the array of appointments and tests, often involving multiple care providers. Our Care Coordinator meets with each patient prior to beginning treatment to help orient patients and visitors to our facility, answer questions about treatment plans, coordinate any labwork or diagnostic tests your doctor may order and provide ongoing support and advice as patients continue their recovery process.
When is it best to take your medications? Does one contradict another? Are there alternatives that might relieve symptoms like nausea? We have two clinical pharmacists dedicated to oncology services to address these and any other medication concerns you or your doctor may have. A key member of our multi-disciplinary team, our pharmacists are there to ensure you get the right medications and you get them when you need them. Should you have questions or concerns, our oncology pharmacists are always available for consultation.
A valuable resource to patients and the entire cancer care team, our oncology unit Clinical Educator provides individual counseling to patients and family members about different kinds of cancer, as well as ongoing education to help them manage symptoms and any side effects they may experience from their treatments. The Clinical Educator also works directly with our clinical staff, keeping them abreast of the latest developments in oncology nursing care and coordinating advanced training and educational opportunities for the team.
Genetic Education/Counseling Services
Through our Genetic Education Program, a board certified Genetic Counselor trained and experienced in cancer risk assessment is available to review your personal or family history of cancer and address concerns you may have about hereditary cancer. Choosing to do genetic testing is a personal decision that can help you more actively manage your health care, and may provide helpful information for your family too. Most insurance plans provide coverage for select services. For more information or an appointment, please call our Cancer Genetic Education Program at (941) 917-2005.
Certified Tumors Registrars
Tumor Registrars take a summary of your medical history, cancer diagnosis, treatment plan and disease status for the Cancer Registry, which follows every patient treated at Sarasota Memorial throughout his/her lifetime in order to discover trends that will advance research.
Cancer Information Specialists
Like a librarian, our Cancer Information Specialists can assist you in finding new and credible research on the Internet, as well as helping you explore the wealth of information to be found in the Center's books, videos, audiotapes and latest medical journals. Call our Cancer Information Office at (941) 917-1981.
These trained professionals oversee our research trials to ensure that Food and Drug Administration, Human Research Protection and industry and hospital standards are met. Learn more about Clinical Trials at Sarasota Memorial.
Mental Health Professionals
Licensed mental health counselors from Sarasota Memorial’s Bayside Center – a full service inpatient and outpatient mental health counseling center – are available to provide clinical assessments, individual consults or more intensive therapy to help cancer patients cope with the emotional distress that can accompany a cancer diagnosis. Help is available to patients in the hospital as well as on an outpatient basis. Call 941-917-7760 for a free clinical assessment.
Our non-denominational chaplains offer a wealth of support to patients and families seeking spiritual comfort. An on-call chaplain is available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To reach a chaplain call 941-917-1304, Monday through Friday, or page 941-917-4444, x1717 for urgent requests, evenings and weekends. Ask your health care team member or the hospital operator for assistance. We can also contact your own clergy.
Sarasota Memorial is proud to offer our patients the comfort and help of a cadre of more than 1,000 volunteers, many of whom have battled cancer themselves and returned to offer morale support and hope to others. Their thoughtfulness, spirit and loving concern have made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of patients. If you are interested in participating in our Volunteer program, please contact us (941) 917-6163.