Press Releases

November 23rd, 2021 Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health’s Fishermen’s Community Hospital Welcomes First Oncology Patient

MARATHON, FL – November 23, 2021 – This week, Baptist Health’s Fishermen’s Community Hospital welcomed their first patient to its new oncology unit. With an ongoing focus on quality and patient care, the new hospital houses an oncology suite with three private patient rooms. The unit currently offers biotherapies, transfusions, laboratory services and hydration services and will soon offer chemotherapy. Patients will now also have access to Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute resources and its unique support services programs.

“We believe every patient deserves access to the best possible care in their own community,” said Siddhartha Venkatappa, M.D, associate chief medical officer at Miami Cancer Institute. “This new site will help us provide exceptional and convenient cancer care to the residents of the Middle and Lower Keys.”

Dr. Venkatappa, who also serves as the medical director of infusion services at Baptist Health’s Keys hospitals, added, “Before, cancer patients in the area would have to drive to Mariners Hospital or to Miami to receive treatment. Now our patients can receive the care they need close to home and their support systems. Bringing these treatments to Marathon is another milestone to improved healthcare in the area.”

William Schneider, the first patient seen in the oncology unit, says that having his treatment and services near his home is fantastic. Mr. Schneider said, “We have lived in Marathon for over 20 years and I have witnessed all the changes. Before this unit was open, I had to travel an hour north to Tavernier. Now, I save travel time each way and, more importantly, I’m so close to home!”

Having this new service at Fishermen’s Community Hospital provides services to patients that enhance and expand outpatient cancer care throughout the Middle and Lower Keys.

Baptist Health’s Miami Cancer Institute was recognized among the top three Best Hospitals for Cancer in the South Florida region and one of America’s Best Hospitals for Cancer in the categories of lung cancer surgery and colon cancer surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

Fishermen’s Community Hospital has been caring for the Florida Keys community 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. In July 2018, Baptist Health replaced the field hospital with a modular facility. With the completion of the new hospital in July 2021, the 37,330-square-foot facility provides specialized services such as 24/7 emergency care with telestroke services to give stroke patients immediate access to Board-certified neurologists, an on-site helipad, six inpatient beds, including two intensive care beds with 24/7 monitoring, nine emergency department beds, five additional recovery beds, diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation and laboratory services. Oncology services is the latest of the offerings being provided at the new hospital.

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About Fishermen’s Community Hospital

Fishermen’s Community Hospital is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 12 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.


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