A noble calling

Published: August 24th, 2008

Category: Spotlights

Joseph V. Simone

Joseph V. Simone

UF Shands Cancer Center

In the 50 years he’s been a physician, Joseph V. Simone has always focused on patients first, whether he’s conducting research in the laboratory or the clinic, leading medical programs or serving as a senior executive of medical institutions. So it’s really no surprise that experience has shaped his perspective on the practice of medicine today.

“Medicine is a noble calling and it is a rare privilege to care for patients,” Simone writes in “Sustaining the Dignity and Nobility of Medical Care,” a collection of essays he authored that was published in summer 2008. “I have always believed strongly that we who have that privilege also bear the responsibility for respecting the essential nobility of providing medical care. For a variety of reasons, it is challenging today in what we call modern medicine to sustain that spirit of care and to put trust in the system of care.”

An internationally recognized leader in cancer care, research and education, Simone was named director of the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center and physician-in-chief of cancer services for Shands at UF medical center, effective July 1, 2008.

The pediatric oncologist is making a second stop at UF after holding leadership positions in some of the country’s top cancer programs – including 25 years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., where he developed treatments for childhood leukemia and lymphoma and served as the hospital’s director, and service 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. In 2006 and 2007, he served as a consultant in the planning of the Shands at UF Cancer Hospital and the university’s overall cancer program, briefly holding an appointment as UF associate vice president for health affairs.

It’s Simone’s knowledge of UF, Shands HealthCare and Tampa-based Moffitt Cancer Center, which he has also served as an adviser, that uniquely position him to advance the alliance between the three entities announced in January 2008.

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,” he 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.”

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