JAXUSA Partnership, the economic development arm of the JAX Chamber, during its quarterly luncheon on December 16 presented a 2015 International Award to UF Health Proton Therapy Institute.
Each year since 2007 JAXUSA honors companies and individuals that contribute to Northeast Florida’s international growth. “As international barriers continue to be broken it is important to position Northeast Florida as a prime place to expand or relocate international business,” said Jerry Mallot, JAXUSA President. “These awards help us recognize those companies and individuals who have already seen why this region is an outstanding location for their business operations.”
A selection committee comprised of the JAXUSA President, International Senior Director, JAXPORT’s Chief Commercial Officer and a representative from the international and/or logistics community review eligible nominees and determine the award winners. Past winners include Novabone (2007), COACH (2011), Stellar (2007 & 2014) and Jaguars President Mark Lamping (2013). The selection of UF Health Proton Therapy Institute marks the first time a health care provider has received the International Award.
“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Stuart Klein, UF Health Proton Therapy Institute Executive Director. “Proton therapy is often the only treatment option for many kinds of tumors, especially those located in or near critical organs like the brain, heart or lungs. Our ability to provide treatment to patients from around the globe is possible thanks to our expert professional medical team and to our community partners.”
Since opening in 2006, the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute has treated more than 6,000 cancer patients, who are from the local community, 49 states and 30 countries. The Institute has agreements in place with Norway, Quebec and the United Kingdom to treat cancer patients who need proton therapy. Additional international patient growth is expected from China following a proton therapy symposium in June 2015 hosted jointly with the leading radiation oncology association in China. Over the last five years, the pediatric proton program has grown to the largest in the world with more than 25 children on treatment each day. Since opening, the facility has treated more than 1,000 children.
UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit, academic health facility. The facility is active in the economic development and medical tourism efforts in the City of Jacksonville. It hosts educational tours of the facility for small groups including medical professionals, business groups, government officials, international visitors and others. Facility tours are open to patients, caregivers and the general public twice weekly. It supports nonprofits such as the Ronald McDonald House, the American Cancer Society, Wolfson Children's Hospital, the American Lung Association, the Free to Breathe Association, and the 26.2 with Donna. Employees and patients often participate in community runs and events such as the Riverside Arts 5K, the Gate River Run, the Corporate Run, and more.
This year UF Health Proton Therapy Institute was named one of four Florida Cancer Centers of Excellence – the first year of the state-designated award – and it earned the American College of Radiology accreditation seal – one of three proton therapy facilities in the country with this distinction.