Director's Letter to the Community

Jeffrey Hord, MD

Jeffrey Hord, MD

The Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders is always working to provide the highest quality, family-centered care to the children of our region who are fighting these serious diseases.

Initiatives driven by this mission in 2011 included the expansion of hematology-oncology services to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and to the Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley campus in Boardman. Our Mahoning Valley clinic is the new program highlighted in this annual report.

As a result of our expansion, we saw a record number of patients with an all-time high of 7,617 clinic visits and 4,026 inpatient encounters.

The Showers Family Center staff continues to be very involved in a growing number of quality improvement projects. Two major projects in 2011 included our center’s lead role in a national collaborative to reduce central line infections among our patient population and our efforts to deliver intravenous antibiotics to patients at greatest risk for serious infection within one hour of arrival to our clinic, inpatient unit or Emergency Department.

In 2011, auditors from the Children’s Oncology Group reviewed the quality of the clinical research we conduct as part of their organization and they recommended the continuation of our membership.

Between 1999-2008, approximately 40 percent of our patients in need of a bone marrow transplant (BMT) were referred elsewhere, as unrelated bone marrow transplants were not performed at Akron Children’s Hospital. Recognizing the importance of keeping children near their homes and support networks, we expanded our transplant program in 2009 to include unrelated BMTs.

As a result, between 2009-2011, 34 of the 43 patients (79 percent) who needed a BMT received their transplants close to home and family at Akron Children’s Hospital. Research efforts within the center led to a record 285 clinical trial enrollments, 15 presentations at national and regional medical meetings and one publication.

Our staff’s outreach activities reached several hundred thousand people. These activities included school presentations, participation in health fairs and community parades, awareness walks, library displays, distribution of bookmarks and church bulletin inserts, podcasts and newspaper and TV interviews.

To provide comprehensive programs and services to our patients and families, the Showers Family Center depends upon the generosity and support of individuals and organizations throughout the region. With the difficult economic climate in 2011, the needs of our families continued to be great and we used more than $600,000 in philanthropic gifts to meet these needs.

Please read through this report to learn more about the Showers Family Center and how our team continually works to improve our services. You will meet three courageous patients and our Director of Research, hematologist-oncologist Dr. Steven Kuerbitz.

Finally, I hope the story of the Boyd Family who organized “The Great Rinky Dink Extreme Putt-Putt Challenge” in memory of their son, Logan, causes each of you to reflect on how you can support us in the future. We need the talents of our staff, the facilities of our hospital, and the support of our community to care for the children and families of northeast Ohio who are facing some of the most serious challenges imaginable.

With great appreciation to all of our friends,

Jeffrey D. Hord, MD
Director, Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders

Director's Letter to the Community
Publication: Showers Family Center Newsletter
Issue: 2011

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