Ponte Vedra Beach resident Dr. Edward Gorak has been named head of the Division of Cancer Medicine at Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Gorak has been at Baptist MD Anderson since August 2015 as one of the founding medical oncologists who helped start Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center, which opened in October 2015.
“I’m looking forward to being part of the team who will bring comprehensive, quality cancer care to northeast Florida,” Gorak said. “We plan to strengthen existing programs such as our breast cancer program and continue to expand high-quality research. Our partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston is going to be critical in utilizing some shared research and new technologies.”
Serving the community
Gorak has always felt a strong pull toward community service. Following in his father’s footsteps, he joined the U.S. Army and found his passion in oncology and research while in medical school. That commitment to service lasted 12 years as he led hematology-oncology and bone marrow/stem cell transplant programs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
After completing his military service, he joined Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania, where he implemented high-quality research trials for underserved populations. He also was co-director of The Center for Bone Marrow Transplantation for seven years and led national cancer trials.
Board certified in hematology, medical oncology and internal medicine, Gorak holds a master’s in business administration and a master’s of science in epidemiology.
“The health care industry is changing rapidly and Geisinger is one of the health systems that is leading that change,” Gorak said. “My experiences at Geisinger were one of a kind and I look forward to bringing those insights to Baptist MD Anderson.”
Making cancer history
While Gorak will continue with his clinical practice at Baptist MD Anderson, he will now take on administrative responsibilities, serving as physician-in-chief for medical oncologists and other physicians who work at the cancer center.
“We appreciate Dr. Gorak’s earlier work on helping to build the Baptist MD Anderson Cancer program,” said Darin Roark, vice president of oncology services for Baptist Health. “We are grateful to have him step up into the leadership role as we continue advancing our efforts to grow and support the needs of our patients.”
In particular, Gorak will lead in building new cancer treatment programs as Baptist MD Anderson prepares to open a new nine-story building in 2018.
“Dr. Gorak can bring people together to create even more effective teams and integrative care with surgery, radiation oncology, and cancer medicine to better meet the needs of our patients closer to where they live,” said Dr. Bill Putnam, medical director for Baptist MD Anderson. “He has a very nice way about him and is aligned with our broad mission of integrated and coordinated cancer care. I think Dr. Gorak will be an individual who will help us accomplish our goals of making cancer history.”