TAMPA, FL – Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., has partnered with Teen Cancer America to open the first Teen and Young Adult (TYA) lounge in the region this week.
The lounge provides patients with a dedicated area to mix and interact during treatment, addressing the unique psychosocial needs of young adults with cancer.
The dedication and ribbon cutting was given by Dr. Damon Reed, Leader of Moffitt’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Program with Rob Shapiro, Tampa Swim Across America Event Director, who provided the financial support for the facility. TCA has pledged $100,000 to support the ongoing development of the program.
Dr. Reed thanked Simon Davies, CEO of Teen Cancer America, for strategic advice in the design of the lounge, using the two decades of experience of Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK and TCA’s facility at UCLA Hospital as the model. TCA Board Member Sally Webb represented the charity. The facility was conceived in 2011 through Dr. Reed’s conversations with patients who all shared the same sense of isolation. With the help of Shapiro, he pledged to develop a facility to “help patients stop feeling alone and provide lifetime support and friendships.”
Jacqueline Beaushaw, an AYA patient at Moffitt, gave advice on the design of the lounge from a patient’s perspective, stating, “We just need a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of hospital life, where we can focus on important things such as winning at Mario Cart.”
Commissioner Sandy Murman, in her opening address, stated, “I am astonished with the work Moffitt does in our community. 10% of Moffitt’s inpatients are in the AYA age range and the lounge area will provide a ‘being at home’ type of experience.”
About Teen Cancer America: Following in the footsteps of the highly developed and successful Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK, Teen Cancer America is designed to help hospitals and healthcare professionals bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care. Teen Cancer America aims to educate and support hospitals and outpatient facilities in the development of specialized units for this age group. The units are a place just for teens and young adults where the cancer experience is understood and the importance of living life through the cancer journey is nourished. Teen Cancer America’s work supports the coming together of physicians and allied healthcare professionals in both pediatric and adult oncology so that the teen and young adult cancer patient care becomes closer to where it needs to be. Age targeted care for this population is necessary for medical and appropriate psychosocial development of this unique age group.
About Moffitt Cancer Center: Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the top-ranked cancer hospital in the Southeast and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. With more than 4,500 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $1.6 billion. For more information, visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.