UF oncology doctor appointed chairman of state cancer council
Thomas J. George Jr., M.D., FACP, a University of Florida assistant professor of hematology and oncology, was recently tapped by Gov. Charles Crist to serve as chairman of the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Council.
George, a member of the UF Shands Cancer Center and the director of the UF gastrointestinal oncology program, has been a member of the 35-member council since 2006, and will serve as the council’s chairman for a term of four years. The council is charged with advising Florida’s governor, Legislature, surgeon general and other state agencies on cancer control issues, preparing position statements on cancer-related legislation and assisting in the development and funding of projects aimed at reducing the cancer burden in the state, especially among low-income and underserved populations.
“The council can help unite multiple organizations and stakeholders involved in cancer care during challenging economic times,” George said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to streamline and organize programs statewide, which will ultimately allow us to provide more access to care, improve quality outcomes, conduct more research and reduce the cancer burden on our state’s citizens and taxpayers.”
The council comprises 35 members representing a variety of academic health centers, hospitals, cancer provider organizations, community partners, government groups, industry leaders and other public health organizations. Priorities of the council are organized around the state cancer plan, which is due to be released within the next six months. As part of that plan, the council is developing policies and programs aimed at cancer prevention and risk reduction, improving the state’s health care system’s capacity for cancer care, increasing access to cancer care, and improving quality of care.
George, who is board-certified in medical oncology hematology and internal medicine, holds joint appointments at UF and the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center. His clinical and research interests focus on gastrointestinal malignancies, such as colorectal and pancreatic cancers, the development of new drug treatments, educating patients and their families about quality of life and cancer care decision-making, using molecular testing to develop individualized treatment options, and optimizing the training and education of the next generation of cancer care providers.