November 4, 2011


Responds to compelling need for access to early CT screening
and innovative, minimally-invasive treatments

JUPITER, Fla. – November 4, 2011 – Recruiting one of the nation’s leading specialists in minimally-invasive lung and chest surgery, Jupiter Medical Center (JMC) has launched the first comprehensive program in Palm Beach and Martin counties dedicated to prevention, early detection, treatment and care of patients with lung cancer and other diseases of the chest and lung.

K. Adam Lee, M.D., a Board Certified Thoracic Surgeon and nationally recognized pioneer in robotic assisted lung cancer surgery, is medical director of the new Thoracic Surgery and Lung Center, which expands the scope of JMC’s nationally accredited Ella Milbank Foshay Cancer Center.

“Knowing that over 80 percent of lung cancers have a chance to be cured if detected and treated early, we’ve assembled a ‘brain trust’ of specialists and armed them with the latest technology, such as low dose spiral CT screening,” said John Couris, Jupiter Medical Center President and CEO. “Under Dr. Lee’s direction, we’ve marshaled all the resources it will take to create a true center of excellence in treating diseases of the chest and lung.”

“Nationally, more people die of lung cancer than colorectal, breast and prostate cancer combined,” said Dr. Lee. “Our team is focused on changing lung cancer’s dreadful statistics – improving the odds for patients, decreasing their stress and getting them back to their lives faster.”

JMC is introducing its Thoracic Surgery and Lung Center as the need for sophisticated early CT screening gains growing national attention. The National Cancer Institute’s 2010 National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) results showed 20 percent fewer lung cancer deaths among high-risk patients who were screened with low-dose spiral CT technology than with chest x-ray. Recently the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer advised physicians to discuss the NLST results and CT screening with high-risk patients.

JMC’s program streamlines diagnosis and coordinates treatment to achieve better outcomes. The Center will evaluate each patient and, if needed, perform CT scan, radiologic tests or biopsy within 24 to 48 hours, according to Dr. Lee. Treatment will typically be provided within two weeks, he added.


The Center’s continuum of care includes: CT Lung Screening Program – National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) guidelines recommend spiral CT screening for current or former heavy smokers aged 55 to 74, who quit less than 10 years ago and show no symptoms and have no personal history of cancer. Risk factors will be evaluated on an individual basis for JMC Thoracic Surgery and Lung Center patients. Lung Nodule Clinic – Patients with an abnormal chest X-ray or CT of the lung will leave the clinic with a plan of care the same day as their consultation. This month, the Thoracic Surgery and Lung Center will make Endoscopic Bronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) available in Palm Beach and Martin counties for the first time. The advanced diagnostic technology guides physicians via real-time ultrasound images as they perform biopsies that require no incisions, are safer and more accurate. Minimally-Invasive Thoracic Surgery, including Robotic Assisted Thoracic Surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System, as well as Video Assisted Thorascopic Surgery.


Until now, specialized Robotic Assisted Thoracic Surgery for procedures such as lung resection or lobectomy, lymph node biopsy or surgery on the esophagus has not been available in Northern Palm Beach or Martin counties. Enabling surgeons to perform such procedures robotically through incisions smaller than two inches, Robotic Assisted Thoracic Surgery can reduce blood loss, infection and pain, and allow for faster recovery, compared with traditional “open” surgeries, Dr. Lee said. If a patient is diagnosed, the Center coordinates high-tech radiation, chemotherapy and infusion services, with supportive care from dedicated lung patient navigators, oncology social workers, rehabilitation services, plus education and survivorship programs.

Dr. Lee was the first physician in Florida to perform Robotic Assisted Thoracic Surgery and was among the state’s earliest adopters of Video Assisted Thorascopic Surgery for lobectomies. Certified in cardiothoracic and general surgery, he earned his medical degree from New York Medical College and completed residencies at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York and at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He established his practice in South Florida as a leading cardiothoracic surgeon with Cleveland Clinic, Memorial Healthcare System and Jupiter Medical Center before moving to the Mid-Atlantic region six years ago to be at the forefront of Robotic Assisted Thoracic Surgery.

In 2004, he pioneered the four-arm robotic lobectomy surgical technique for lung cancer. For the first time in the U.S., that advance enabled an individual thoracic surgeon to manipulate all four “arms” of the robotic surgical device, for greater control and accuracy. Dr. Lee has traveled nationwide teaching cardiothoracic surgeons the technique, and in his new role with Jupiter Medical Center is already training surgeons from throughout the region.

Most recently, Dr. Lee served as medical director of thoracic surgery and robotic surgery at Kennedy University Hospital in Voorhees, New Jersey and was a clinical associate professor of surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–School of Medicine.

Jupiter Medical Center’s Foshay Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. JMC's Comprehensive Cancer Care Program’s Clinical Research Department is affiliated with Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

About Jupiter Medical Center

A not-for-profit 283-bed Regional Medical Center consisting of 163 private acute care hospital beds and 120 long-term care, sub-acute rehabilitation and Hospice beds, Jupiter Medical Center provides a broad range of services with specialty concentrations in orthopedics and spine, geriatrics, minimally-invasive surgical procedures including robotic surgery, emergency services, cardiac services, obstetrics, cancer care and advanced diagnostics. Founded in 1979, Jupiter Medical Center is the highest ranked hospital in Palm Beach County by U.S. News & World Report, and was recognized as “high performing” in five specialty areas, including cancer, ear, nose and throat, gynecology, kidney disorders, and neurology and neurosurgery. The Medical Center has approximately 1,500 team members, 520 physicians and 700 volunteers.

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