Published on: 04/06/2022
After more than 50 years of providing leading-edge care for children with cancer in South Florida and beyond, Dr. Enrique A. Escalon, esteemed pediatric hematologist-oncologist, has announced his retirement.
Dr. Escalon served as Director of the Division of Hematology-Oncology, within the Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, since the 1980s guiding the program through its growth and transformation into a nationally and internationally recognized institute for the treatment of pediatric cancer and blood disorders.
Following Dr. Escalon’s retirement announcement, Dr. Ziad Khatib was appointed Interim Director of the Division of Hematology-Oncology. Since 2020, Dr. Khatib has served as the Vice President of the Nicklaus Children’s medical staff and has served as an attending physician in the Division of Hematology-Oncology since 1993.
Under Dr. Escalon’s leadership, the Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute achieved approved cancer program status from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), Commission on Cancer. Dr. Escalon also served as principal investigator for the prestigious cancer research consortium, the Children’s Oncology Group. He was also responsible for the creation of the first hematology-oncology fellowship at Nicklaus Children’s.
Dr. Escalon’s vision to ensure no child would have to leave the region to receive pediatric cancer care was instrumental in the program’s growth into the renowned Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute it is today. The institute provides care for 130 to 150 newly diagnosed pediatric patients each year, more than any other facility in South Florida. The institute has grown to offer specialized programs including a blood and marrow transplantation program, a neuro-oncology program in collaboration with the hospital’s Brain Institute, as well as a sarcoma and solid tumors program for children with soft tissue and bone cancers.
“On behalf of all of us at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, we extend our gratitude to Dr. Escalon for his unwavering commitment in ensuring children facing a cancer or blood disorder diagnosis receive the best care possible. Throughout his storied career, spanning half a century, he has touched the lives of countless patients and their families and served as an inspiration to the clinical teams who have been privileged to work with him,” said Matthew Love, President and CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System.
Dr. Escalon earned his medical degree from University of El Salvador Medical School. He completed his residency at Nicklaus Children's, where he served as chief resident in 1974. He also completed his fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at Nicklaus Children’s. He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology.