Unique Facility Provides Children with Close Proximity to Their Families During Bone Marrow Transplant Process
BOSTON, Mass. – The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center today opened the Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, an innovative and unique facility for pediatric patients and their families. Unlike any offering in the region, the 5,900-square-foot unit combines comfortable family apartments with state-of-the-art bone marrow transplantation rooms, both in a protective and artfully-designed environment that allows family members to move freely and spend more time with pediatric patients during lifesaving treatments.
“When we learned about the stress and lengthy separation children must go through during bone marrow transplants, we wanted to take what we learned while operating the Neely House and apply the same ideas,” said Cam Neely, president of the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care. “The greatest reward of the new unit is knowing that it physically moves families closer together and increases their time together during this difficult process.”
“A physical space can change your entire experience, and no matter how well prepared you are for a bone marrow transplant, it’s intense. We firmly believe the nature of this space is going to change the intensity of transplants and create a greater sense of ease for both children and their parents,” said Lawrence Wolfe, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Floating Hospital for Children. “Every transplant is a story, and the Neelys are changing the story.”
The Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit includes five sunny rooms for children undergoing treatment, along with a playroom where children on the unit can play together. And what truly makes the Neely unit unique are its three parent apartments, which include real beds in private rooms, a community kitchen and shared living room and laundry facilities.
Bone marrow transplantations typically require children to endure long periods of isolation, and family members need to follow strict visitation rules to protect patients whose immune systems are compromised. For example, parents previously had to “gown up” each time they returned to their child’s room during treatment. In this large, comfortable unit, that is no longer necessary. Parents can now visit in their child’s room, go to their own room for a period, prepare a meal in the kitchenette, consult with a nurse on the unit and return to their child’s bedside without having to take special precautions between these activities.
The Neelys and staff at Floating Hospital paid careful attention to the architectural detail of the new unit, including beautiful, warm colors and tasteful lighting, as these important elements help put children and their families at ease.
“Bone marrow transplantation offers hope of a cure to our most vulnerable young patients. This generous gift from the Neely Foundation will help us continue to provide the most advanced cancer care possible. Superior care is not just about providing children with excellent treatment; it’s about treating them and their families the way we would want our own families to be treated. Thanks to the Neely Foundation, our patients and their families will feel more at home while we battle their cancer together,” said John Schreiber, M.D., Chairman of Pediatrics and Chief Administrative Officer of Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.
“A fundamental in pediatrics is that the patient and the family are inextricably linked. The child’s outlook is linked with the parents’ outlook,” said Howard Grodman, M.D., director of Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation at Floating Hospital for Children. “When the parent is able to stay with the child, when they’re able to live with the child – that makes the experience more bearable for everybody.”
The Foundation has partnered with Tufts Medical Center on a number of previous initiatives including The Neely House, which marked its 10th anniversary in October 2007. The Neely House is unique for its physical location – it is an “inn” for cancer patients and their families located within the walls of a hospital. Other projects include The Michael Neely Center for Brain Tumor Care and Research, The Neely Center for Clinical Cancer Research and The Neely Cell Therapy and Collection Center.
For more information on The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care or any of its projects, please visit www.camneelyfoundation.com.
The Opening and Dedication of the Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. This will be the only opportunity for the public to tour the facility before patients and families move in to the specially protected environment.
Monday, May 12, 2008, 5:00 p.m. ET
Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center
800 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
About Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children
Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. Floating Hospital for Children is the full-service children's hospital of Tufts Medical Center and the principal pediatric teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center is affiliated with the New England Quality Care Alliance, a network of more than 1,800 physicians throughout Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.
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