Leading cancer administrator to head UF Shands Cancer Center

May 09, 2008

Moffitt Cancer Center, UF & Shands announced partnership in January

Gainesville, FL– Dr. Joseph V. Simone, an internationally recognized leader in cancer care, research and education, has been named director of the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center and physician-in-chief of cancer services for Shands at UF, effective July 1.

Simone, who will serve as a professor in the division of hematology/oncology in the COM’s department of pediatrics, has held leadership positions in some of the country’s top cancer programs and is making a second stop at UF. He served as a consultant in the planning for the Shands at UF Cancer Hospital and the university’s overall cancer program in 2006 and 2007, briefly holding an appointment as UF associate vice president for health affairs.

It’s Simone’s knowledge of UF, Shands and Tampa-based Moffitt Cancer Center, which he has also served as an adviser, that makes him the ideal person to advance the partnership between the three entities announced this past January, said Dr. Bruce Kone, dean of the UF College of Medicine.

“Dr. Simone is very familiar with the Moffitt, UF and Shands organizations, and highly regarded by the leadership of all three,” Kone said. “His recruitment sends a loud message that the Moffitt-UF-Shands partnership will be a prominent force nationally and internationally in cancer prevention, care, education and research.”

A pediatric oncologist, Simone worked for 25 years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, where he helped develop treatments for childhood leukemia and lymphoma. In 1983, he was named director of St. Jude, turning his efforts to the administrative leadership of the hospital and its research programs. During his tenure, St. Jude experienced both a scientific renewal and major growth in its physical facilities, Kone said.

From 1992 to 1996, Simone served as physician-in-chief of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he developed a cancer disease management system and a regional clinical cancer network. He left New York to become executive director of the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, where he served five years. He has served as an independent consultant to cancer programs for the past seven years.

Simone’s key goals include leading a redesign of UF and Shands clinical cancer services to better align them with the patient-centered programs offered by Moffitt. He will also work to integrate UF and Shands patient-care and research activities with Moffitt’s “Total Cancer Care” program and the renewal of its prestigious National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center core grant.

Simone said he is enthusiastic about the challenge of finding synergy in this marriage of well-established cancer programs.

“This is a unique opportunity for three very strong institutions to join in the cancer enterprise,” Simone said. “That’s a chance you get very rarely in this field. So I’m looking forward to tackling this new opportunity and exploring all the ways it can benefit the people of Florida.”

In addition to reporting to Kone, Simone will also have a reporting relationship to Shands HealthCare Chief Executive Officer Tim Goldfarb and Dr. William S. Dalton, president, CEO and center director of Moffitt.

“In his role as senior adviser for Moffitt’s Total Cancer Care initiative, Dr. Simone has shown he knows what it takes to improve cancer care across the state,” said Dalton. “I am confident he will be able to lead the UF Shands Cancer Center to our shared goal of providing the highest level of compassionate patient care and outstanding research.”

“Dr. Simone’s reputation of focusing on the patient first is well-deserved,” Goldfarb said. “Although he is a renowned scientist, he never forgets, in word or deed, that his science is focused on improving human health. His knowledge and insight will be invaluable as we continue our efforts to improve our cancer programs and integrate the Total Cancer Care model.”

Simone has served as medical director and chairman of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and as a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute from 1996 to 2002. He has been a member of the National Cancer Policy Board of the Institute of Medicine since 1997 and served as its chairman until 2005. He serves on the external advisory committees of 12 NCI-designated cancer centers. He is past chairman of both the Cancer Clinical Investigators Review Committee and the Cancer Center Review Committee of the National Cancer Institute.

He is a former president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes and former vice chairman of the Pediatric Oncology Group. Among his awards and honors, Simone was elected to the Association of American Physicians. In addition, the American Association for Cancer Research awarded him the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award and the American Society of Clinical Oncology awarded him the Distinguished Service Award for Scientific Excellence in 2002 and the Public Service Award in 2006.

Simone is expected to serve a two-year appointment. He succeeds Dr. W. Stratford May Jr., who stepped down as cancer center director in April.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute Located in Tampa, Fla., Moffitt Cancer Center ( www.moffitt.org) is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer as well as for ear, nose and throat. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

About Shands HealthCareShands HealthCare is a private, not-for-profit health-care organization affiliated with the University of Florida Health Science Center. With facilities in North Central and Northeast Florida, Shands HealthCare includes eight hospitals: two academic medical centers and four community and two specialty hospitals. Shands serves as Florida’s leading health-care referral system, treating patients from every county in the state as well as from throughout the nation and more than a dozen other countries annually. More than 1,500 affiliated UF faculty and community physicians treat patients at Shands facilities and UF’s network of more than 80 outpatient physician practices. Shands at the University of Florida, the system’s academic medical center in Gainesville, has centers of emphasis in cancer, cardiovascular, neurosurgery, orthopaedic, pediatric and transplantation services. The Shands at UF Cancer Hospital is a new $388-million, 500,000-square-foot facility slated to open in 2009.

About UF Health Science Center The University of Florida Health Science Center — the most comprehensive academic health center in the Southeast — is dedicated to high-quality programs of education, research, patient care and public service. The Health Science Center encompasses the colleges of Dentistry, Public Health and Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and an academic campus in Jacksonville offering graduate education programs in dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy. Patient-care activities are provided through teaching hospitals and a network of clinics in Gainesville and Jacksonville. The Health Science Center also has a statewide presence through satellite medical, dental and nursing clinics staffed by UF health professionals, and through affiliations with community-based health-care facilities stretching from Hialeah and Miami to the Florida Panhandle.