BPN Member Spotlight: Space Coast Cancer Center
By Brevard Physicians Network // April 13, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – For more than three decades, Dr. Richard Levine has practiced a simple philosophy of healing: the patient’s wellbeing is paramount.
“Our staff is very dedicated to the patients and their families,” said Dr. Levine.
Hope, health and healing drives the Space Coast Cancer Center (SCCC), and the new office at Viera Health Park opened in June reflects the same optimistic and caring outlook of its sister offices in Rockledge, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and Titusville.
With seven medical oncologists and one radiation oncologist, SCCC practices a healing culture that marries cutting-edge technology with compassionate care, formidable weapons against cancer. With the new Viera Health Park location, convenience is added to the mix, thanks to the Park’s enviable location near I-95.
Dr. Levine is excited by the new location and state-of-the-art facility. “We foresee the potential of being a regional cancer center,” he said.
“It’s all about comprehensive patient-centered cancer treatment. We’re also working with Viera Hospital to establish a cancer program there.”
CANCER PROGRAM MEDICAL DIRECTOR
As medical director of Viera Hospital’s new cancer program, Levine will draw on his experience as medical director of a similar program at Cape Canaveral Hospital.
“Viera Hospital, which is innovatively designed and built to best meet the needs of patients and families, we will all work together clinically for the patient’s benefit.”
Dr. Levine has designed the Viera office to be a one-stop cancer care “shop” where patients can easily access comprehensive diagnostic imaging, chemotherapy and radiation. Surgical subspecialists are within walking distance, so patients can focus on healing rather than on the stress of multiple trips to different locations for treatment.
HEALING, HOMELIKE ATMOSPHERE
The office has been designed in two phases, with last June’s opening of the 7,500-square-foot space in the first floor of the Plaza, to be followed with 24,000 additional square feet on the second floor, slated for opening in 2012.
As with his other offices, Dr. Levine drew from the soothing colors of nature to help patients feel at ease from the time they enter.
“There’s nothing clinical,” said Dr. Levine. “We wanted a healing, homelike atmosphere. We use healing colors to enhance the supportive environment.”
Levine has always made it a practice to go above and beyond the call, spending considerable time and resources to optimize clinical outcomes and make sure the patient can easily access all treatment resources.
Space Coast Cancer Center is one of only 17 facilities in the state affiliated with the prestigious Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institution, allowing for access to clinical trials that include quality of life studies and genomic and proteomic clinical research.
“We’re on the cutting edge,” said Dr. Levine. “We’ve dedicated our resources to that effect. Not too many practices do that.”
SCCC also has the opportunity to participate in additional clinical trials through partnerships with Shands Cancer Centers and the National Cancer Institute.
“Our culture has a focus on quality,” said Levine.
Through a close professional relationship with Dr. Levine and his colleagues, SCCC patients also have direct access to internationally recognized nuclear medicine radiology specialist Dr. Robert Bridwell for second opinions related to the interpretation of PET/CT scans.
“It’s an extra measure of quality,” said Levine.
The Space Coast Cancer Center is the first and only facility in the state to be certified for quality by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the first practice in the state to implement Pathways, a set of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s evidence-based clinical algorithms that have become standards for best-practice cancer treatment and optimize outcomes through the most efficient and timely use of clinical resources.
“These are academic, evidence-based chemotherapy regimens for 90 percent of all cancers,” said Dr. Levine. “They offer the most effective treatment with the least possible side effects and with the least cost.”
THE NEXT GENERATION OF TECHNOLOGY HAS ARRIVED
Fortunately for cancer patients, technology continues to rapidly gain effectiveness in beating the disease. A couple of years can produce impressive new advances. Space Coast Cancer Center is usually one of the first in line to add new technology to its treatment arsenal.
For example, in 2008, Space Coast Cancer Center was one of the few practices in the country to offer the Trilogy Linear Accelerator (pictured above right), which delivers intensity modulated and image-guided radiation.
“It was the best in the world at the time,” said Dr. Levine.
In 2011, the next generation of technology has arrived, in the form of the TrueBeam system.
“That is the latest and greatest, so we purchased that for the new Viera office,” said Dr. Levine.
“We’re one of the first 25 sites in the country to have it.”
The new office continues with the Center’s tradition of patient education and advocacy, and will be the headquarters of the Space Coast Cancer Foundation, which assists cancer patients and their caregivers with the emotional and financial demands the diagnosis of cancer invariably brings.
Monthly support groups will be joined by programs such as the popular Art in Healing program, which pairs local artists with cancer patients for artistic expression. The loving eyes and wet kisses of therapy dogs will delight the animal lovers and music therapy will calm the soul.
By using a holistic approach, Dr. Levine and the rest of the SCCC team help patients recover in body and spirit.
“Treatment has changed dramatically in the last decade,” said Levine.
“There’s more patient advocacy. We put more focus on rehabilitation. We have more cures, much more targeted therapies, so there’s less toxicity and better cure rate – and more people living a good quality of life.”
For more information about Space Coast Cancer Center call 321-268-4200 or log on to SpaceCoastCancer.com