GREENVILLE, S.C. — Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, along with national nonprofit Teen Cancer America and First Citizens Bank, announced plans today to open a new inpatient Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer unit at its facility in downtown Greenville, the first dedicated cancer center for this age group in the Carolinas. Upon completion, it will be the nation’s eighth Teen Cancer America unit.
“We’re extremely excited to join with Teen Cancer America and First Citizens Bank to launch this new Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) oncology unit and continue providing state-of-the art, comprehensive cancer treatment and care,” said Craig McCoy, CEO of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. “We all share a passion for creating the right environment to help bring about bright futures for teens and their families.”
As the program is implemented over the next two years, the new cancer unit at St. Francis Downtown will be a place where teens and young adults (15-39 years old) can receive uniform support, treatment and care in a program and setting designed specifically for them. In many hospitals, teens and young adults often receive care in pediatric wards or with older adults in general cancer facilities. This new unit will help bridge the gap.
The new AYA oncology unit was announced at a news conference today in Greenville, attended by hospital officials, business executives and community leaders. At the event, Teen Cancer America and First Citizens Bank pledged to grant $320,000 for the development of the AYA cancer unit and programs at Bon Secours.
“Teen patients have unique social, economic and emotional needs, which can often complicate cancer care,” said Jeff Ward, who is on the board of directors for Teen Cancer America and is chief strategy officer for First Citizens. The bank is a major sponsor of Teen Cancer America and supporter of the new unit. “This new inpatient unit will provide these young people with targeted treatment and care – in a place where they feel like they belong — and help them get through the most challenging experience of their lives. We’re thrilled to be a part of this community and proud to support Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and Teen Cancer America in this endeavor.”
“We’re extremely grateful for the partnership with First Citizens Bank and Teen Cancer America as it allows us to continue to provide specialized care and support for AYAs across the age range,” said Dr. Hal Crosswell, director, Adolescent Young Adult Cancer Care and Blood Disorders Program at Bon Secours St. Francis. “Since 2012, we have cared for AYAs in the Upstate, and this partnership will take the Program to the next level as we launch a vibrant, developmentally appropriate inpatient unit and support services dedicated to teens and young adults. Data suggests that dedicated support services and space is needed to improve outcomes and quality of life for AYAs-when you see it first hand, you become a believer very quickly.”
Simon Davies, executive director of Teen Cancer America, said Bon Secours St. Francis Health System will be only the second regional community hospital in the U.S. with a Teen Cancer America unit and the first in the East – the others are located at major medical academic centers.
“I commend Bon Secours St. Francis Health System for its forward-thinking leadership in approaching us about developing this center,” Davies said. “By establishing this dedicated teen cancer care center in the Carolinas, Bon Secours is filling a great need. In the U.S., there are more than 30 young people diagnosed with cancer every day, more than one every hour.”
Davies said Teen Cancer America works with hospitals across the country, and Greenville is an ideal location. “It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., but most of all, the health system, the people and the community are dedicated to providing exceptional care to young people and their families,” he said. “We look forward to working with Bon Secours St. Francis in the months ahead.”
First Citizens’ sponsorship of Teen Cancer America is its largest-ever corporate philanthropic initiative, which has been implemented across its banking franchise from coast to coast. First Citizens is working with Teen Cancer America to raise funds, build awareness and partner with hospital and medical centers to establish new teen cancer units and programs, like the one at Bon Secours St. Francis.
First Citizens’ Teen Cancer America campaign features the powerful theme, “Open the Door,” reflecting the need to create new teen cancer programs across the country. The theme is based on Roger Daltrey’s recording of a new version of “Let My Love Open The Door,” exclusively for First Citizens and Teen Cancer America. Daltrey is lead singer of The Who and co-founder of Teen Cancer America.
For more information, visit LetMyLoveOpenTheDoor.com (http://www.letmyloveopenthedoor.com) , use #LetMyLoveOpenTheDoor or stop by a local First Citizens Bank location.
About Bon Secours Health System
Bon Secours Health System, Inc. based in Marriottsville, Maryland, including Bon Secours St. Francis Health System located in Greenville, S.C., is a $3.5 billion dollar not- for-profit Catholic health system that owns, manages or joint ventures 19 acute care, 5 long term care, 4 assisted living, 6 retirement communities/senior housing, 14 home care and hospice services, and other facilities, primarily on the East Coast. Bon Secours Health System consists of more than 24,000 caregivers helping people in six states. Its vision is to be a prophetic Catholic health ministry partnering with communities to create a more humane world, build health and social justice and provide exceptional value for those served. For more information, visit www.BonSecours.com/greenville.
About First Citizens Bank
Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S., with offices in 23 states. There are 26 offices in the Upstate. Drawing from over a century of experience serving the needs of its customers, First Citizens focuses on developing long-term relationships and offers a comprehensive array of products and services to individuals, families, businesses and the medical community. First Citizens Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq: FCNCA), which has more than $34 billion in assets. For more information, visit firstcitizens.com. First Citizens Bank. Forever First®.
About Teen Cancer America
Following in the footsteps of Teenage Cancer Trust, the highly developed and successful Teen and Young Adult cancer program in the U.K., Teen Cancer America is designed specifically to help U.S. hospitals and healthcare professionals bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care in America. TCA aims to educate and support hospitals and outpatient facilities in the development of specialized units for the age group from 13 to 25. These units provide sanctuaries where the cancer experience is understood and the importance of living life through the cancer journey is nourished. TCA also brings together physicians and allied healthcare professionals from pediatric and adult oncology so AYA cancer patients can receive the specialized treatments and support that they need. Founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend and supported by Eddie Vedder, Joan Jett, Nolan Smith, Victoria Summer, The Band Perry and Daniel Berger.