Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer & Blood Disorders

Akron Children's Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders offers clinical treatment, including stem cell/bone marrow transplantation, for children and teens with all types of cancer and bleeding or clotting disorders. Read More...

Hord Jeffrey
Jeffrey Hord, MD
Director, Division of Hematology-Oncology

Fargo John
John Fargo, DO
Director, Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center and Divisional Quality Improvement

Gerak Laura
Laura Gerak, PhD

Kuerbitz Steven
Steven Kuerbitz, MD
Director, Divisional Research and Stem Cell Transplantation

Patton Donna
Donna Patton, MD
Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist

Pettee Daniel
Daniel Pettee, DO
Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program Director, Solid Tumor Program

Rush Sarah
Sarah Rush, MD
Director, Neuro-Oncology and the Shannon E. Wilkes Targeted Therapy Program

Savelli Stephanie
Stephanie Savelli, MD
Director, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program and the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program

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Lauren Beck, MSN, RN, CPNP, CPON
Pediatric nurse practitioner

Culbertson Courtney
Courtney Culbertson, MSN, CPNP-AC
Stem Cell Transplant and Solid Tumor Program Coordinator Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Golden Julia
Julia Golden, MSN, RN, CPNP-AC
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

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Ashley Heath, MSN, RN, CPNP-AC
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Jones Pamela
Pamela Jones, RN, CPNP
Coordinator, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program

Sikorski Shannon
Shannon Sikorski, CNP
Nurse Practitioner

Stratton Ann
Ann Stratton, MSN, RN, PNP, CPNP-PC, CPHON
Lead Hematology/Oncology Advance Practice Provider

Vaccarelli Terri
Terri Vaccarelli, MSPAS, PA-C
Physician Assistant

No photo available
Amanda Watson, MSN, RN, CPNP AC/PC, CPHON
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

No photo available
Drew Westfall, CPNP
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Jordan Jamie
Jamie Jordan, MPAS, PA-C
Physician Assistant

No photo available
Alexis Judd, MPAS, PA-C
Physician Assistant

No photo available
Rebecca Kelley, MPAS, PA-C
Physician Assistant

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Faith Lanshe, CNP
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Senko Valerie
Valerie Senko, MPAS, PA-C
Physician Assistant

Kelly Michael
Michael Kelly, MD, PhD
Chief Research Officer

Highlighted Clinical Studies

Highlighted Clinical Studies

A Comprehensive Approach to Improve Medication Adherence in Pediatric ALL

ACNS02B3, A Protocol for Collecting and Banking Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Specimens

Study of Biomarkers found in Newborns with Down Syndrome and the Link to Leukemia

Biomarkers in Tumor Samples From Patients With Newly Diagnosed Neuroblastoma or Ganglioneuroblastoma

Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Younger Patients With Newly Diagnosed Hodgkin Lymphoma

Risk-Based Classification of Patients With Newly Diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

Tissue Collection from patients with Cutaneous Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Treating Younger Patients With T-Cell ALL or Stage II-IV T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma

Effectiveness of Ribociclib Following Radiation in Children with Diffuse Pontine Gliomas

Efficacy of Carboplatin Administered With Radiation and Isotretinoin for Medulloblastoma

Enrollment on the Childhood Cancer Research Network

Entinostat in Treating Pediatric Patients With Recurrent or Refractory Solid Tumors

Umbrella Follow-Up of Patients Who Have Participated in Children's Oncology Group Studies

Maintenance Chemotherapy or Observation Following Induction Chemo and Radiation for Ependymoma

Neuroblastoma Biology Studies

Neuropsychological, Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Outcomes in Children With Cancer

Peginterferon Alfa-2b in Treating Younger Patients With Craniopharyngioma

A Registry for Adult and Pediatric Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

Post-Radiation Chemotherapy in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Ependymoma

The Project: Every Child Protocol: A Registry, Eligibility Screening, Biology and Outcome Study

Radiation Therapy Before Surgery in patients Non-Rhabdomyosarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Guided Therapy in Treating Younger Patients With Non-high Risk Neuroblastoma

Risk-Based Therapy in Treating Younger Patients With Newly Diagnosed Liver Cancer

Study of Blood Samples From Newborns With Down Syndrome

Building Evidence for Effective Palliative/End of Life Care for Teens With Cancer (FACE-TC)

Tretinoin and Arsenic Trioxide in Treating Patients With Untreated Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia

Safety and Efficacy of Tretinoin and Arsenic Trioxide in Patients With Untreated Acute PML

Safety and Effectiveness of Apixaban in Preventing Blood Clots in Children With Leukemia

Did You Know?

Did You Know?
  • Akron Children’s hematology/oncology program is one of 12 programs in the nation recognized by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer as a “Pediatric Cancer Program.” 

  • Akron Children's Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders ranks in the top 1/2 of pediatric cancer centers in the U.S., in terms of the number of new cancer cases treated each year.
  • Akron Children's Hospital is a contributing member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), the world's largest childhood cancer research entity.


Meet Our Patients



The Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Akron Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive care to children, teens and young adults with all types of childhood cancer, sickle cell disease, hemoglobinopathies and bleeding/clotting disorders, as well as those who require stem cell/bone marrow transplants.

The team includes board-certified pediatric hematologists-oncologists (doctors who specialize in childhood cancer and blood disorders), advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, certified pediatric oncology nurses, pharmacists, social workers, clinical research associates, child life specialists, counselors and educators.

Our team is also strengthened by its close collaboration with other specialty departments at Children’s, such as surgery, anesthesiology, pain management, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, radiology, pathology, psychology, nutrition, critical care medicine, adolescent medicine, emergency medicine, chaplaincy services, physical therapy, palliative care and genetics.

As a major teaching institution, Akron Children’s offers fellowship training in pediatric hematology-oncology and is a major pediatric teaching hospital affiliated with Northeast Ohio Medical University. The division of hematology-oncology also actively participates in national clinical trials for childhood cancer and blood disorders, and continues to explore the causes and treatment of these diseases through our basic science research program.

As a member of the prestigious Children’s Oncology Group (COG), we participate in the development of National Cancer Institute-approved treatment protocols and offer the most up-to-date cancer therapies. Our cancer program is one of only 11 “Pediatric Cancer Programs” in the country as verified by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

On average, we care for 8 newly diagnosed children with cancer each month. About 30 percent of these patients have leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, and 25 percent are treated for brain tumors, the second major cause of cancer in children.

Hematology-oncology care is also provided at our campuses in Akron and Boardman. The Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders on our Akron campus is named after the family of David and Martha Showers, whose generous gift helped build the center and continues to help fund patient care, research and education programs.


What To Expect

Take a virtual tour of Akron Children's childhood cancer and blood disorders center.



Research Activity

Akron Children’s Hospital is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world's largest childhood cancer research entity. COG’s goal is to cure and prevent childhood and teen cancer through scientific discovery.

As a member, the Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders participates in National Cancer Institute-approved treatment protocols. Membership in the COG ensures that caregivers follow the same protocols of care, whether the patient lives in Akron or another city across the country.

Staff members also serve on a variety of committees within COG, helping to ensure that  enrollment of childhood cancer patients in clinical trials remains a high priority. This practice has been proven to provide improved outcomes for patients.

In addition, staff are participating in an expanding portfolio of clinical research pertaining to supportive care for childhood cancer patients, late effects of cancer therapy, psychological outcomes for childhood cancer patients and family members, bleeding disorders, disorders of thrombosis and coagulation, white blood cell disorders, stem cell transplantation, sickle cell disease, and pediatric palliative care.

Annually, patients enroll in clinical trials more than 200 times. These studies include COG clinical trials to test new therapies for childhood cancer, “non-therapeutic” COG studies that explore such things as the biology of children’s cancer or the late-term effects of cancer treatment, and a variety of protocols examining non-malignant diseases.

The division’s translational research program explores the risk factors for childhood bone tumors and leukemias, focusing changes at the genetic level to expression patterns in cancer cells. Through analysis of tumor specimens and utilization of in vitro cellular models, Akron Children’s investigators, in collaboration with investigators at Kent State University and Northeastern Ohio Medical University, are identifying molecular pathways that drive cancer cell development, focusing on pathways that may be specifically targeted with drugs or may be manipulated by pharmacologic epigenetic reprogramming.

The Akron Children’s research team working on this is led by Steven Kuerbitz, MD, director of divisional research and the Stem Cell Transplantation Program. The team’s ultimate goal is to increase the effectiveness of cancer-treatment therapy while decreasing its potentially toxic side effects.

The division is also collaborating with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Advanced Cancer Therapies Network to offer its cancer patients access to phase I and phase 2 clinical trials. Trevor Weigand, an Akron Children's patient battling a childhood cancer called juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, is already benefitting from this arrangement. The cancer center's participation is being led by Sarah Rush, MD, a pediatric neuro-oncologist and director of Akron Children’s Brain Tumor Program.

Cancer center staff members are also involved in a number of quality improvement projects designed to help give children and teens who are fighting cancer and blood disorders the best chance of survival and quality of life.

The center offers two summer research internships to medical students who have been accepted into or have completed the first year of medical school.


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Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer & Blood Disorders
our locations

Akron Children's Hospital
Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders
214 W. Bowery Street
Akron , OH 44308
Phone: 330-543-8580
Fax: 330-543-3220
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Akron Children's Hospital
Center for Childhood Cancer & Blood Disorders
Beeghly Campus
6505 Market St., Building A
Boardman , OH 44512
Phone: 330-746-9522
Fax: 330-746-9523
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