Longtime Marathon resident William Schneider has driven quite a few miles for his medical appointments over the years. But Mr. Schneider no longer has to travel very far from home. He became the first patient seen in the new oncology unit at Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Baptist Health.
“We have lived in Marathon for over 20 years and I have seen all the changes. Before this unit opened I had to travel an hour north to Tavernier, ”says Mr. Schneider, who is pictured above with Samantha Wolfe, RN, in the new oncology room. “Now I’m saving commute time each way and more importantly I’m so close to home! “
The new unit at Fishermen’s Community Hospital provides patient services that improve and expand outpatient cancer care in the Middle and Lower Keys. The new hospital houses an oncology room with three private rooms for patients. The unit currently offers biotherapies, transfusions, laboratory services and hydration services and will soon offer chemotherapy. Patients will now also have access to the resources of the Miami Cancer Institute of Baptist Health and its unique supportive service programs.
“We believe that every patient deserves access to the best possible care in their own community,” said Siddhartha Venkatappa, MD, deputy chief medical officer at the Miami Cancer Institute. “This new site will help us provide exceptional and convenient cancer care to residents of the Middle and Lower Keys. “
Dr Venkatappa, who is also medical director of infusion services at Baptist Health Keys Hospitals, added, “Before, cancer patients in the area had to go to Mariners Hospital or Miami for treatment. Now our patients can receive the care they need close to their homes and support systems. Introducing these treatments to Marathon is another important step towards improving health care in the region.
The Fishermen’s Community Hospital has looked after the community of the Florida Keys since it opened in 1962. The hospital was closed in September 2017 when Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage to much of the area. A field hospital was quickly opened to provide uninterrupted care to the community, which was later replaced with a modular facility. With the completion of the new hospital in July 2021, the 37,330 square foot facility, complemented by an on-site helipad, provides specialist services such as 24/7 emergency care with TV services. -STROKE to give stroke patients immediate access to neurologists. It also offers inpatient beds, including two intensive care beds with 24/7 monitoring, nine emergency beds, five additional recovery beds, diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation and laboratory services.
The Miami Cancer Institute of Baptist Health was recognized as one of the top three cancer hospitals in the South Florida area and one of the top cancer hospitals in the United States in the categories of lung cancer surgery and colon cancer by US News & World Report.