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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Two Ocala hospitals awarded for excellence in lung cancer care

Two local hospitals, HCA Florida Ocala Hospital and HCA Florida West Marion Hospital, were recently recognized for their commitment to the highest standards in lung cancer care.

Both hospitals were named a “Center of Excellence” by GO2 for Lung Cancer (GO2) for their ongoing commitment to providing the Marion County community with patient-centered, evidence-based lung cancer care.

Each year, an estimated 237,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer. While it remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, lung cancer survival rates are increasing at a rapid pace thanks to the availability of new groundbreaking treatments for people diagnosed with the disease, according to HCA Florida Healthcare.

“We are proud to have HCA Florida Ocala Hospital and HCA Florida West Marion Hospital join the community of GO2 for Lung Cancer Centers of Excellence that is national in scope and local in impact,” stated Joelle Fathi, GO2’s Chief Healthcare Delivery Officer.

“Across the U.S., the majority of people at risk for or living with lung cancer are served by a local community hospital near their home,” added Fathi. “Through the GO2 COE network of community hospitals, clinics, and academic and VA medical centers, we are fostering and supporting essential knowledge sharing and collaboration that brings national and global advancements in early detection, treatment and care close to home.”

According to HCA Florida Healthcare, each GO2 Center of Excellence designated in lung cancer care is committed to the principles of patient-centered communication and decision making across the entire care pathway.

These centers demonstrate access to standard cancer services within medical, radiation, and surgical oncology, and pathology; follow practice standards based on evidence, expert consensus, and clinical guidelines; and engage team-based mechanisms for multidisciplinary input to guide care and treatment recommendations while informing shared decision making.

“HCA Florida Ocala Hospital and HCA Florida West Marion Hospital (are) dedicated to providing patients with the highest quality care,” stated Alan Keesee, HCA Florida Ocala Hospital CEO. “We are thrilled to be part of this elite network, setting an example for responsible treatment and care practices across the country and helping people diagnosed with lung cancer in our community live longer, higher-quality lives.”

In addition to receiving this newly awarded designation as a Center of Excellence in Lung Cancer Screening, HCA Florida Ocala Hospital and HCA Florida West Marion Hospital are also recognized by GO2 as a Center of Excellence in:

  • Lung Cancer Screening, for implementing a structured low-dose CT screening program that adheres to NCCN, USPSTF, or CMS criteria and uses a standardized process to manage patient follow-through.
  • Incidental Pulmonary Nodules, for providing a structured program that captures incidentally found lung nodules from imaging, with a standardized process for patient follow-up and reporting across the health system.
  • Biomarker Testing and Precision Medicine, for ensuring access to guideline-directed testing for molecular and immune biomarkers with next generation sequencing technology in all patients with guideline-eligible tumors to determine eligibility for targeted therapies or immunotherapies.
  • Smoking Cessation, for consistently supplying evidence-based smoking cessation services and information across the lung cancer continuum.
  • Multidisciplinary Team, for providing a patient-centric multidisciplinary team comprised of a cancer navigator or coordinator and a minimum of three lung cancer disciplines that meet at a regularly scheduled tumor board.
  • Survivorship, for facilitating survivorship care plans and resources to improve quality of life among all people with lung cancer.
  • Patient Centric Research, for consistently navigating people with lung cancer to clinical trial opportunities when appropriate.
  • Community Engagement, for participating in community outreach to expand lung cancer awareness and education.
  • Equity, for demonstrating an approach to lung cancer care that considers diversity, health equity and inclusion for all community members.

To learn more about HCA Florida Healthcare, which includes over 570 affiliated sites of care across the state including HCA Florida Ocala Hospital (1431 SW 1st Avenue in Ocala) and HCA Florida West Marion Hospital (4600 SW 46th Court in Ocala), visit HCA Florida Healthcare’s website.