Below is a collection of some of the successes of Teen Cancer America’s hospital partners this past year in their own words. Please take a look at the hard work of all of these champions around the country!
Teen Cancer America is incredibly proud to share just a small portion of what our hospital partners have accomplished this past year. Our hospital partners have embraced the challenges associated with teen and young adults cancer care and have made great strides in program and facility development among many other exciting projects. Here are a few samples of the wonderful work they have done. We are looking forward to more growth in 2016. - Hilary Gan, Director of Hospital Programs & Services
MONROE CARELL JR. CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICA CENTER
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has developed a collaboration with music industry colleagues in Nashville to expose AYA cancer patients to good music and to people “in the industry.” A program was developed by a passionate young woman named Caitlyn called the Bandade Backstage Pass, which allows cancer patients access to cool shows and musicians. In partnership with Teen Cancer America, Vanderbilt announced plans for our AYA unit as well as TCA’s newest ambassadors, The Band Perry!
MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER
Memorial Sloan Kettering In 2015 we saw the development and near completion of multiple facets of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Teen and Young Adult Program including the Lounge and design for our mobile app. Formal launch to come in 2016! MSK is excited about the hiring of two new staff for their AYA program.
YALE – NEW HAVEN CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Yale-New Haven Children’s has had its first full year of its dedicated Adolescent-Young Adult Oncology Clinic! Currently we are moving forward with creating the dedicated Teen Center on our inpatient unit but nearby our clinic so it can serve both. We have dedicated a psychiatric/psychology team that serves our AYA clinic and follows patients when admitted. Additionally, we successfully acquired funds to pay for part time AYA clinic coordinator from Strike Three Foundation, founded by Craig Breslow, Yale alumnus, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
DANA FARBER CANCER INSTITUTE
Dana Farber is hiring a Program Manager in 2016 thanks to Teen Cancer America! This hire will be a joint pediatric-medical oncology hire and represents our “stepping out” as a formal joint program! With this hire we hope to extend our education about AYA issues, both internally and at outside events. This new manager will allow up to generate research for this population as well as customize care for all of our current and future patients!
RAINBOW BABIES & CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL & UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS SEIDMAN CANCER CENTER
The Angie Fowler Cancer Institute at Rainbow Babies University Hospital launched the “Cancer Education Series (Part 1)” to educate clinicians about AYA issues. Along with a nurse navigator, 4 AYA patients were awarded scholarships to attend Stupid Cancer’s CancerCon, where we also had an AYA-designed exhibit where we gave out free hugs! The “So How’s Life After Cancer?” survivorship program is offered to all survivors attending survivorship clinic during their visit. We hosted a Beauty Day, where fellow survivors provided mini-makeovers, conversation, and a chocolate therapy bar to inpatients, outpatients, and caregivers. We are currently working with our new friends at MadeSmart to make functional and fun products for AYA patients. We hosted our annual AYA Cancer Bash, a celebration of life dinner with over 150 patients, families, and staff that started in the outpatient clinic and finished with dessert in our rooftop garden. We were given the CureSearch Community Award and grant to study AYA distress levels during the period of transitioning off treatment and into survivorship. We also received a grant from the UH Sustainability program to offer fresh organic produce to our patients/families once a week during growing season (June-Oct) so that they could learn how to eat healthier. Finally, our AYA Nurse Navigator was awarded the Margaret Marting- Rainbow Trustee Award for Clinical Excellence!
FORT WORTH ADOLESCENT AND YOUNG ADULT ONCOLOGY COALITION: COOKS CHILDREN’S, HARRIS METHODIST HOSPITAL, & BAYLOR
The Fort Worth Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Coalition’s (a nonprofit organization composed of health care organizations, oncology providers, and foundations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area) committees continue to work hard on plans, including hiring an architectural firm and getting valuable input from coalition members on the look and feel of our new AYA oncology unit, debuting the design this past fall. In November Dr. Albritton and Dr. Klein signed the formal contract with Baylor All Saints Hospital to begin building our AYA oncology unit! We’ll soon begin building the core of our AYA-specialized unit staff, which will consist of a nurse practitioner, patient navigator, social worker, activity coordinator and psychologist.
THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia had its first annual Graduation Ceremony recognizing AYA patients and survivors who were graduating from high school and college. We launched the AYA music therapy cart as well as hosted an ongoing podcast, AYA Cancer Chat: Life Interrupted, featuring teens and young adults from the cancer center discussing their experiences with cancer diagnosis and treatment. Activities and other events including a Day at the Phillies, Joy Juice event with Camden, and ACS’ Look Good . . . Feel Better for Teens.
LUCILE PACKARD CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL STANFORD & STANFORD MEDICAL CENTER
The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford’s Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Program was very excited to launch our program in April! We have started our AYA PFAC (Patient Family Advisory Council) made up of 10 AYA patients with staff and we have set our goal for the first one-an AYA Peer to Peer Mentoring Program. We will be having our first workshop to start the program in Spring 2016. Our AYA program received a Clinical Innovative Fund through the Stanford Cancer Center to purchase Fitbits and IPads to help our patients monitor daily activity) as well as connect them to a Fitbit community for 50 patients along with weekly Yoga/Deep breathing technique classes. We are hoping this can encourage some healthy competition among patients as well as social connections! The company Glassybaby has created a candle called “Red Barn” for the Stanford Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Program with 10% of proceeds benefitting us.
MOFFITT CANCER CENTER
Moffitt Cancer Center’s Swim Across America Adolescent and Young Adult Lounge officially opened on April 30th 2015 with the help of our AYA Patients, Teen Cancer America, and over 100 guests and community partners. The space is available to our patients 24/7 and is already a big hit. A patient told us that while he visits Moffitt for his outpatient treatments, he is grateful for the space as he feels safer in the lounge instead of a waiting room between appointments. Additionally, one of our inpatients has glittered our lounge with his artwork and loves that the space is nearby but doesn’t look like the same 4 walls! In December the AYA Program hosted a party at a restaurant owned by AYA Program research benefactor, Richard Gonzmart, and welcomed over sixty patients and guests. One of our new AYA patients said, “I didn’t feel weird being bald!” while another said “I wasn’t sure I was ready to meet other people who traveled a similar path as me, but I’m glad I came!” We began the research part of the hiring of a new staff member for the AYA Program using our Teen Cancer America grant to be hired in 2016. We are asking physicians, clinical team members and our very own AYA patients what types of assistance we are doing great in, what needs work, and what would benefit them the most.
RONALD REAGAN UCLA MEDICAL CENTER & UCLA MEDICAL CENTER SANTA MONICA
UCLA’s Daltrey/Townshend Teen & Young Adult Cancer Program has recruited Alexis Gentry as one of our wonderful social workers serving the leukemia, lymphoma, and bone marrow transplant TYA population as well as Emma Lidington as the lead research assistant for our ongoing TYA survivorship research portfolio. We must extend our thanks to team members Grace, Sufia, and Emma – who led the effort to establish the oncofertility infrastructure for our program and an additional thanks to Grace and Sufia who lead the AYA nursing educational efforts!