Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center receives prestigious National Cancer Institute designation
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July 29, 2019

Dear Members of the University of Miami Community,
Today is a momentous day for the University of Miami and its Miller School of Medicine as we announce that Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center has received the prestigious National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation. Sylvester is the only NCI-designated cancer center in South Florida, and one of only two in the state of Florida.
This is transformative news, not just for Sylvester, the Miller School, and the University of Miami, but also for the people of South Florida and throughout the region. NCI designation recognizes Sylvester as one of the very best cancer centers in the U.S., and the center’s renowned work ensures that patients in South Florida are able to receive the most advanced cancer care without leaving the area, as Miami becomes a destination of choice for cancer patients across the hemisphere.
The National Cancer Institute recognized Sylvester, the region’s only university-based comprehensive cancer center, for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.
NCI designation is an historic achievement for Sylvester, which has enjoyed steadfast support from the State of Florida and our elected officials. Over the past seven years, under the extraordinary leadership of Dr. Stephen D. Nimer, the entire staff has been united by the shared goal of moving the cancer center into the upper echelon. Thanks to their focus, dedication, and hard work, Sylvester now joins a highly selective group of cancer centers across the nation that are leading the effort to better understand the causes of cancer and develop more targeted therapies.
Both Dr. Edward Abraham, executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Miami and CEO of UHealth, and Dr. Henri R. Ford, dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School of Medicine, join me in congratulating Dr. Nimer and the entire Sylvester staff for this remarkable accomplishment. Every single person at Sylvester—from researchers, physicians, nurses, and care teams to administrative and support staff—has played a key role in propelling the cancer center to NCI designation.
On this important milestone, we are reminded of the generosity of the many people and organizations in our community who have been instrumental in Sylvester’s journey to becoming a world-class cancer center. They include, of course, Harcourt Sylvester Jr., who in 1986 pledged $27.5 million in what was, at the time, the largest single gift to the University of Miami, a legacy carried forward by University Trustee Jayne Sylvester Malfitano and the Sylvester Foundation. In addition, The Pap Corps Champions for Cancer Research, the Women’s Cancer Association of the University of Miami, and the Dolphins Cancer Challenge have each raised millions of dollars for cancer research at Sylvester. Countless others have contributed their time, expertise, and financial support to ensure a bright future for Sylvester and for cancer patients everywhere.
I hope you share my immense pride in Sylvester’s extraordinary achievement, and my profound appreciation for Dr. Nimer and his staff for all that they have done to advance cancer research, education, and treatment at the University of Miami. Their work provides hope and saves lives.

We are one U,
Jacqueline R. Menendez signature
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