Puerto Rico Advisory Council
Hurricane Relief Efforts
Help is on the way to Ponce, Puerto Rico, thanks to Moffitt Cancer Center and the Tampa Bay Rays. More than 30,000 pounds of medical supplies, generators, food and water were shipped to the island on a chartered Boeing 737 headed for the island devastated by Hurricane Maria.
There is no better way to spread the word about Moffitt Cancer Center than to turn to those who have been touched by the wonderful patient care and cancer research that Moffitt provides.
The Puerto Rico Advisory Council is chaired by Kimberly Casiano, a member of Moffitt Cancer Center's National Board of Advisors. The Council consists of a group of grateful patients, family members and friends who work together to raise awareness about cancer and Moffitt in Puerto Rico.
It is through this Council and its activities that we can bring cancer prevention and advocacy to the forefront of the health discussion within the island’s population.
The components of the Council include:
- Regular meetings among council members to promote communication between the two geographic locations
- Newsletters and videos featuring patient stories and Moffitt activities specific to Puerto Rico
- Special events in Puerto Rico to help raise awareness about the Cancer Center
How do Moffitt's efforts benefit Puerto Rico?
Moffitt Cancer Center opened a Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Evaluation and Follow-Up Clinic at the Metro Medical Center in Bayamon in 2011. Dr. Melissa Alsina and Dr. José Ochoa-Bayona travel to the island once a month to see patients who have been referred by physicians as candidates for a blood and marrow transplant. Approximately 800 adults are diagnosed with blood related cancers in Puerto Rico each year. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 787-395-7085.
In addition, Moffitt is currently collaborating with cancer researchers in Puerto Rico. The geographic proximity and large Hispanic population in the state of Florida and Puerto Rico have driven the creation of an academic partnership between the Ponce Health Sciences University and Moffitt. The complementary expertise at both institutions provides a synergistic means of studying cancer in Puerto Rico.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded Moffitt and The Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences approximately $8 million each to build a long-term infrastructure between the two institutions with an emphasis on eliminating cancer-related health disparities that particularly affect the Hispanic population.
Read our Spring 2017 Newsletter (pdf)