Florida Cancer Specialists Celebrates 35th Anniversary
- Katrina Williams
- February 26, 2019
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Nation’s Largest Independent Hematology/Oncology Practice Reflects On
More Than Three Decades of Advances in Cancer Care
Fort Myers, FL – February 25, 2019. . . In February of 1984, Dr. William Harwin, Founder and President Emeritus of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), could only dream of what his fledgling community oncology/hematology practice might become one day. The treatment of cancer at that time was embryonic, compared to modern day methods, and the trend toward moving patients out of a hospital setting into a community oncology office was just beginning to gain momentum as new, improved and safer chemotherapy drugs were being developed.
“In the beginning,” Dr. Harwin recalled, “when I opened my Fort Myers practice to treat local oncology patients, it was just my wife Marilyn and me in the office. I always wanted to affiliate other physicians in the practice, but I never envisioned the growth that we have achieved over the past three and a half decades. It’s been extremely rewarding for me, particularly when you consider the many advances in treatments that are available to our patients today. Our mission has always been to put the patients first, and I believe that is one of the most important reasons that we have been successful.”
Over the past 35 years, FCS has pioneered the community oncology model and set a national benchmark for clinical trial research that rivals most academic medical institutions. The statewide practice includes a dedicated Phase 1 Drug Development Unit (DDU) in Sarasota and a second DDU under construction in Lake Mary, FL. Over the past four years, the majority of new cancer drugs approved for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials with Florida Cancer Specialists participation, prior to approval from the FDA.
Brad Prechtl, CEO of FCS, said, “The relationships with our patients are at the heart of everything we do. Cancer patients rely on our physicians and staff to provide the most advanced treatments in a setting close to their homes, so they can have the support of their families and friends. I know that our doctors and employees at every FCS office often feel that our patients are like an extended family, and they inspire us every day with their courage.”Dr. Lucio Gordan, President and Managing Physician of FCS, added, “Dr. Harwin’s vision, coupled with the excellent leadership of the Executive Management team, as well as the dedication of our outstanding physicians and staff members, has resulted in the most advanced and personalized cancer treatment in the state of Florida. We are also extremely proud to participate in the national Oncology Care Model (OCM), bringing high quality, value-based care to our patients. New treatments for cancer are being developed at a rapid pace and, at FCS, we are eager to provide these new options to our patients.”