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Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program Achieves Accreditation for APP Fellowship Program

Miami Cancer Institute is first in the nation to attain an accreditation with distinction for the training of advanced practice providers in the field of bone marrow transplantation and malignant hematology.

Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute's Malignant Hematology/Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship has earned accreditation with distinction as an Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship Program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs. The program is the first in the United States to earn this accreditation, which is the highest recognition an organization can be awarded by the ANCC. It will be up for reaccreditation in May 2028.

“This accreditation validates the quality of the care we can provide for our patients,” said Dr. Jannelle Vicens, nurse practitioner for bone marrow transplant, malignant hematology and HIV oncology and program co-director of the Fellowship, along with physician assistant Victoria Cassidy. “It ensures the growing number of patients with malignant hematological conditions will continue to have access to high quality care through APPs, specifically certified to care for their diseases,” Dr. Vicens said.

“It is the result of years of efforts in the development of an academic program for our APPs,” said Marco Ruiz Andia, M.D., chief of HIV oncology and HIV stem cell transplantation. “This is the start of a new and a more structured academic-oriented setting for the personal and professional growth of our APPs and a brilliant opportunity to continue the growth and transformation of our department into a nationally-recognized malignant hematology and bone marrow transplant program. For physicians, this means that the APPs with whom they are working have the national standard of training and experience at the APP level.”

The APP Fellowship and accreditation were the vision of Dr. Maria Suarez, assistant vice president of nursing and advanced practice providers, who led the way to incorporate advanced practice providers in the malignant hematology and blood and bone marrow transplant settings at Miami Cancer Institute. Dr. Suarez worked with Dr. Miri Sinclair, nurse practitioner and the APP educator, and Dr. Ruiz to establish the curriculum and got approval from Chief Medical Officer Leonard Kalman, M.D., and Chief Nursing Officer Vicki Caraway, R.N., to start the fellowship program and to pursue this unique accreditation that covers both nurse practitioners and physician assistants.    

“With this program, we put Miami Cancer Institute on the national stage from a recruiting perspective,” Dr. Suarez said. “APPs value specialization programs and this Fellowship, now nationally accredited, is sure to draw the attention of top talent who will help shape our care for the future.”

“The bar to obtain this accreditation is set very high, and we are the first in the nation to have it approved for nurse practitioners and physician assistants,” said Guenther Koehne M.D., Ph.D., deputy director and chief of blood and marrow transplant and hematologic oncology for Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute. “We are extremely proud of the work that we do to care for our patients, and now we have the opportunity to train specialized advanced practice providers to continue providing the highest level of cancer care.”

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