Heroes in Healthcare: Lifetime achievement
Daniel Dosoretz earns award.
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NAPLES — Dr. Daniel Dosoretz set out to provide cancer patients in Southwest Florida a level of care not available 32 years ago. He did just that and more, colleagues say.
Dosoretz created a living legacy by providing extraordinary medical care to cancer patients and kindness toward everyone he contacts, according to Dosoretz’s peers and patients of 21st Century Oncology, based in Fort Myers.
For his work, Dosoretz earned the Heroes in Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naples Daily News.
It’s an award Dosoretz is honored to receive, but said he doesn’t deserve.
“Sick patients are really the heroes here,” Dosoretz said while accepting the award Friday at the Waldorf Astoria Naples in front of several family members and hundreds of others in the medical profession attending the awards luncheon.
His wife, Celia, was in their home country of Argentina taking care of a parent — otherwise she and the whole family would have attended, family members said.
Dosoretz, who enjoys spending time with his grandchildren when he’s not working, is described by those who know him not just as an extraordinary oncologist, but also an ingenious businessman with a level of compassion for people that is rare.
“Besides being an outstanding physician, he’s a very charismatic person, a very bright entrepreneurial person who touches the lives of everyone who is close to him,” said Eduardo Fernandez, a Fort Lauderdale doctor who partnered with Dosoretz for 17 years.
Dosoretz, with his first two partners, Dr. Michael Katin and Dr. Howard Sheridan, built Radiation Services Inc.—21st Century Oncology in 1982. It now includes 100 offices throughout the country and nearly 40 locations in South America.
At age 22, Dosoretz graduated with a gold medal for Best Medical Graduate from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in 1975. He served as a resident in the Department of Radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Hugo Myslick, vice president of 21st Oncology Radiation Therapy Services, was Dosorotz’s friend for years before building a business relationship with him about 16 years ago. Dosoretz is one of the most unique people Myslick said he has come to know personally and professionally.
Myslick described Dosoretz as compassionate — not just with patients, but with everyone in his life.
“He has the ability to talk to anybody and everybody,” Myslick said.
Dosoretz’s children consider their father a role model.
“He’s extremely kind. Even though he’s a CEO of this big company, when you meet him, he’s extremely humble. You can’t tell he’s a CEO. He works every day, all day — still. My mom kind of hates it,” said Amy Fox, 32, smiling, before adding that her mom actually supports him every step of the way.
Fox, also an oncologist, said one of her best resources for difficult or unique cases is her father, who still sees patients weekly while leading the large organization.
“He always led by example, putting family first but showing us that being a doctor is more about caring for other human beings. It’s not just a job,” said daughter Elizabeth Dosoretz, a 33-year-old psychologist.
He instilled in them a love for family, life, compassion, work ethic and building a community connection. They were forced to do community service when they were young, they said, and now they’re glad they did.
Sherri Kubesh, 21st Oncololgy physician liaison and marketing director, nominated Dosoretz for the Lifetime Achievement award. Kubesh has worked with Dosoretz for 24 years, first meeting him when she was with the American Cancer Society and he was board president, and now working with him at 21st Century Oncology.
“I know his reputation and experience and I know there is no one else more worthy,” Kubesh said.
The third annual award recipient was grinning Friday at the presence of his family.
“I’m very proud of it. I’m very fortunate to have my grandkids here to see it. I hope I motivated them to win awards,” Dosoretz said.