SARASOTA, Fla. — Sarasota Memorial Health Care System unveiled a new $27 million radiation oncology center today, completing the first phase of its comprehensive Cancer Institute and marking the first time the local health system has provided external beam radiation services to patients on the Suncoast.
Located on Sarasota Memorial’s University Parkway campus, the 18,000-square-foot facility is equipped with 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.
“It’s the gold standard for radiation oncology with a lot of technology in one package,” said Kunal Saigal, MD, a radiation oncologist with Florida Cancer Specialists who leads the team at Sarasota Memorial’s outpatient radiation center. “We want to deliver the most cutting edge, evidence-based radiation oncology treatments available. This is just the beginning.”
The Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators integrate real-time imaging for pinpoint accuracy and positioning technology that allows clinicians to remotely adjust patient position by minute amounts during treatment sessions, which ultimately lead to faster treatment, shorter recovery periods and improved outcomes.
Led by Dr. Saigal, the center’s multi-disciplinary team includes an on-site medical physicist, medical dosimetrists, radiation therapists, an RN and an LPN working together to develop individualized treatment plans with a holistic approach to care.
Being part of the Sarasota Memorial Cancer Institute enables the center to deliver coordinated and integrated care in a comfortable setting that offers hope, healing and inspiration. The center was designed with input from local cancer survivors and includes an abundance of natural light and welcoming spaces, a Serenity Patio with soothing water features and a garden where patients and family can reflect and escape into nature, as well as a support services suite with on-site access to dedicated counseling, patient navigation, financial counseling and other support services.
“We’re focused on patient well being and the emotional experience just as much as the physical experience,” said Dr. Saigal. “This is a very challenging time for individuals, and we need to make sure that we’re able to provide them with the compassion, understanding and empathy they deserve. We want people to feel that warmth from the day they walk in.”
Click here to watch a video tour of the new Radiation Oncology Center.
The second phase of the Cancer Institute is a new oncology tower under construction and scheduled to open on SMH’s main campus in the fall of 2021. Both facilities will enable the evolving Cancer Institute to deliver services across the entire continuum of cancer care — from prevention, screening and diagnosis to treatment, clinical trials, and lifetime follow-up, survivorship care and support.
The costs of construction are supported in part by a Sarasota Memorial Health Care Foundation capital campaign.
The Sarasota Memorial Radiation Oncology Center is now accepting patient appointments for services beginning Aug. 3. It will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 5370 University Parkway, Sarasota (corner of Honore and University). To make an appointment or referral, please call 941-917-7575.
Please click here for more information about the Radiation Oncology Center.
About the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship 839-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services – from urgent care, trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest five-star quality rating since the evaluation system launched in 2016.