One of the great success stories in medicine is the dramatic improvement in survival rates for pediatric cancer patients.
Thanks to significant advances in treatment, an increasing number of children with cancer are conquering their disease with the help of places like Jonathan Jaques Children's Cancer Center (JJCCC) at Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach.
A HEALING ENVIRONMENT
Already a regional leader in pediatric cancer care, JJCCC has outgrown its current space. When completed in 2012, a new pediatric cancer unit will take up the entire third floor of Miller Children's new inpatient pavilion and include 24 private rooms, specialized treatment rooms, a roof garden and a Child Life Playroom. The unit will be built to meet the needs of children who require extra protection against germs. One important feature is a HEPA filtration system that will keep the air in the entire unit germ-free, including individual rooms. "We're very excited about the new possibilities this expansion will bring to the treatment and care of young cancer patients," says Jerry Z. Finklestein, M.D., medical director of JJCCC at Miller Children's.
More than 800 children with critical disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell disease and hemophilia are treated each year at JJCCC. Leukemias (blood cell cancers) are the most common type of childhood cancer, followed by cancers of the brain and central nervous system.
With its strong emphasis on research, JJCCC has access to the most advanced therapies. "As a member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG)—an international, cooperative childhood cancer research network—we work with other leading pediatric cancer programs throughout the world to advance the understanding of cancer causes, and pioneer new treatments and cures for children with cancer," says Dr. Finklestein. "We also participate in more than 80 clinical research studies."
JJCCC also offers the most comprehensive psychosocial program in the region. The team includes social workers, psychologists, art therapists and others. The program provides important emotional support to hospitalized children, as well as pediatric cancer patients who are receiving follow-up care in an outpatient setting. A unique program called Late Effects is designed especially to assist adolescents in understanding and coping with the long-term impact of cancer treatments.
CONTRIBUTING TO THE FUTURE
Community support is welcomed and needed for all aspects of this major expansion project, which will benefit thousands of children with cancer and serious blood disorders. Naming opportunities—a great way for individual or corporate donors to make a lasting contribution—are available for the roof garden, the Child Life Playroom and other areas. "We're very excited about the new possibilities this expansion will bring to the treatment and care of young cancer patients," says Dr. Finklestein.
To learn how you can support the pediatric cancer unit expansion and its mission of providing lifesaving care to children with cancer and serious blood disorders, call (562) 933-GIVE or visit millerchildrenshospitallb.org/build.