Moffitt expands into Pasco to increase cancer care, add jobs

Moffitt Cancer Center’s signature brand of cutting-edge research and high-quality cancer care is putting down roots in Pasco County. Upon completion, the company’s 775-acre Pasco extension is projected to support more than 14,500 jobs in the Tampa Bay region and be a boon for collaboration, innovation, and more. 

Planned near the future intersection of Suncoast Parkway and the Ridge Road Extension in west Pasco, the multiphase project will feature research labs, offices, light industrial/manufacturing capabilities, and conference space.   

“We expect this campus will be a magnet for the biotech and life sciences industries,” says Dr. Patrick Hwu, Moffitt president and CEO. “Ultimately it will allow us to treat more patients, expand our research capabilities and develop cutting-edge technologies that aren’t available at other cancer centers.”

Space is Moffitt’s biggest priority, Hwu says. Increased capability to serve patients in need is the development goal. Comprised of more than 1.4 million square feet of research and corporate space, the Pasco site will significantly expand the Moffitt footprint in Florida, nationally, and globally. The new campus is about 45 minutes northwest of Moffitt’s original Magnolia campus near Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and  Fletcher Avenue in north Tampa in Hillsborough County.

Pasco County’s growth is a driving factor for the new site location as well as its proximity to Tampa International Airport. Situated on Florida’s west-central coast north of Clearwater, Pasco grew from approximately 464,705 in 2010 to approximately 583,661 in 2021; almost triple the population of the county In 1980. About 40 percent of residents are age 55 and over. About 80 percent of cancer diagnoses are in people over age 55. Age is the biggest risk factor for getting cancer.

Phase One involves the construction of a minimum of 128,000 square feet for corporate business park uses; the Pasco County Board of Commissioners is providing approximately $25 million to support the effort. Site competition is estimated to be within five years and funding stems from the Penny for Pasco taxes-for- services program.

What’s next for Moffitt, Hwu says, includes continual expansion because cancer patients who trust Moffitt with their care do better than others, resulting in high demand for access to care at the Center. Moffitt patients hail from all 50 states and 130 countries. Innovative services in the Pasco biotech and life sciences hub will lead to opportunities to collaborate on lifesaving research. Novel ways to deliver radiation therapy are one such modality.

“Cancer patients should come for the compassionate care we provide, which is reflected by our high patient satisfaction scores and unparalleled outcomes compared to other cancer centers,” Hwu says. “We know that because of Moffitt, the Tampa Bay Area will become a magnet for more patients seeking cancer care.”

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Amy Hammond is a freelance writer and author of children’s books that encourage the next generation to attend college. When not indoctrinating youth about the necessity of higher education, she enjoys exploring the paradise that is her St. Petersburg home. She holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida and a Masters in Secondary English Education from the University of South Florida. Her work has appeared in such venues as the Tampa Bay Times. Children’s Book Titles by Amy Hammond include: When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Gator; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a ‘Nole; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Bull; When I Grow Up, I’m Bama Bound; When I Grow Up, I’ll Be a Tiger.