Evidence-Based Oncology
May 2024
Volume 30
Issue 5
Pages: SP402-SP403

May 2024 News From Strategic Alliance Partners


Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute launches a new precision medicine venture; Tennessee Oncology announces promotions.

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute Forms Analytics Subsidiary

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) recently announced the formation of a health care analytics subsidiary, developed to serve as a precision oncology and real-world evidence (RWE) platform.

Image credit: Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute

Image credit: Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute

Called Vita Nova Insights, the entity is wholly owned by Community Oncology Revitalization Enterprise, LLC, or Core Ventures, which is FCS’ management services organization. According to a statement released by FCS, Vita Nova Insights will partner with the 100-site community oncology practice to advance research by developing proprietary data sets and offering “real-world evidence, platform solutions, and analytics support to improve cancer care outcomes.”

Now celebrating its 40th year, FCS has long been a leader in clinical research. The practice offers its patients access to more clinical trials than any private practice in the state, and its physician-scientists are involved in studies of most new cancer drugs approved by FDA. Now, through Core Ventures, this research tradition is expanding into the development of RWE; over the past year, the Vita Nova Insights team has conducted more than a dozen studies in collaboration with leading pharmaceutical companies, according to the FCS statement.

In developing RWE, being directly connected to physicians offers a distinct advantage when identifying challenges with therapies.

“Health care analytics companies aren’t new,” FCS CEO Nathan H. Walcker said in the statement. “But Vita Nova Insights is unique in its ability to symbiotically partner with FCS and its more than 250 providers across the state of Florida to study the efficacy of oncology treatment protocols and deliver perspectives from the clinic that directly inform clinical decisions and impact patient care downstream.”

This relationship allows the development of RWE that fully optimizes the use of data to create new treatments, Walcker said. “This platform is unmatched—harmonizing analytics talent, deep and clinically rich longitudinal data sets, and a market-leading independent community oncology group. There’s nothing out there like it.”

The new entity supports physicians’ and researchers’ access to data within FCS, such as electronic medical records as well as practice management, genomics, laboratory, radiology, and oral oncolytic pharmacy records.

“Information gleaned from our experience caring for over 1 million patients is standardized against industry reference data and further enriched using external data sources to create a more comprehensive picture of the health of every patient,” FCS officials said in the statement.
FCS President and Managing Physician Lucio N. Gordan, MD, said, “The advances we have been able to achieve in data aggregation, curation, and analysis over the past 3 years have put meaningful data literally at physicians’ fingertips, enabled precision oncology decision support, and provided clinical insights that enable us to be more nimble, more efficient in delivering superior patient care and cutting-edge therapies across the entire practice.”

Vita Nova Insights offers in-house next-generation sequencing tests to aid the practices’ physicians through its MolecularHelp service. The precision oncology platform is also proprietary, known as FCS PRECISE.
“Given the pace of innovation in precision oncology, with new therapies coming to market at a rate never seen before, it is challenging for physicians to keep up,” FCS Senior Vice President and Data Officer Trevor W. Heritage, PhD, said. “Vita Nova Insights analyzes every genomics test result in the context of the full patient clinical record and alerts physicians to corresponding treatment options and associated evidence in real time.”

Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute announces formation of healthcare analytics company. News release. Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute. March 27, 2024. Accessed April 2, 2024.

Tennessee Oncology Promotes 3 Physician Leaders

Tennessee Oncology, a nationally recognized independent oncology practice with 35 clinics across Tennessee and Northwest Georgia, recently announced new roles for 3 physician executive leaders.

Image credit: Tennessee Oncology

Image credit: Tennessee Oncology

Johnetta Blakely, MD, MS, MMHC; Casey Chollet-Lipscomb, MD; and Edward R. “Ted” Arrowsmith, MD, MPH, have been promoted to executive vice president of quality and clinical operations, physician services, and therapeutics, respectively. All 3 physicians are currently on Tennessee Oncology’s board of directors and are practicing physicians. Blakely practices in Cookeville, Chollet-Lipscomb practices in Nashville, and Arrowsmith treats patients in Chattanooga, all in Tennessee.

“Each of these oncologists are world-class physicians and leaders who will help take Tennessee Oncology to the next level,” Natalie Dickson, MD, president and chief strategy officer of Tennessee Oncology, said. “I am excited to work alongside my colleagues to build on Tennessee Oncology’s proud history and continue bringing the highest quality of cancer care and innovative therapies to Tennessee patients. Caring for patients [with] cancer is indeed a privilege, and I’m looking forward to contributions [from] each of my colleagues.”

Blakely attended The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis for medical school. She completed her fellowship in hematology/oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and holds a master’s degree in clinical research from MD Anderson Cancer Center as well as a master’s degree in health care management from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Chollet-Lipscomb attended medical school at the University of Tennessee, conducted her residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and was an attending physician at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, prior to joining Tennessee Oncology. Arrowsmith’s medical degree and fellowship are both from Vanderbilt University. He is also the head of pathway development at OneOncology, the fastest growing national platform for independent oncology practices.

Related Videos
Kiana Mehring, MBA, director of strategic partnerships, managed care at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS)
Kiana Mehring, MBA, director of strategic partnerships, managed care at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute
Gustavo Fonseca, MD, FACP, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute
Jennifer Gass, PhD, FACMG, associate director, Genetics Laboratory, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute
Nathan Walcker, CEO of Florida Cancer Specialists.
Nate Walcker, CEO of Florida Cancer Specialists.
Nathan H. Walcker, MBA.
Michael Diaz, MD.
Michael Diaz, MD.
Related Content
CH LogoCenter for Biosimilars Logo