Director's Letter to the Community

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. We continue to serve patients at four locations throughout the region, including our Akron and Beeghly campuses, MetroHealth Medical Center and our Millersburg satellite clinic.

In 2012, our cancer program was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s best. We saw a record number of patients with an all-time high of 7,864 clinic visits and 3,881 inpatient encounters. Sadly, we also diagnosed the largest number of children with cancer (96) during any single year in our program’s history, including 30 children with brain tumors. As a result, we recruited a fellowship-trained pediatric neuro-oncologist to join us in 2013 and establish a pediatric brain tumor program.

The Showers Family Center staff continues to be very involved in a growing number of quality improvement projects. Two major projects in 2012 included our center’s lead role in a national collaborative to reduce central line infections among our patients, 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. Improvement was seen in both areas. Research efforts within the center led to 247 clinical trial enrollments, 17 presentations at national and regional medical meetings and four publications. Our staff’s outreach activities reached thousands of people and included school presentations, participation in health fairs and community parades, awareness walks, library displays, distribution of bookmarks and church bulletin inserts, 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 2012, the needs of our patient families continued to be great and we used more than $560,000 in philanthropic gifts to help them. Our staff does a tremendous job of supporting these families and giving them hope. Our Story of Hope bead program, which is highlighted in this report, was created in 2012 to acknowledge the courage of our patients.

Please read through this report to learn more about our program and how our team continually works to improve services. You will meet three courageous patients, learn more about Giant Eagle as one of our community partners and learn about our efforts to improve the care provided to adolescent and young adult cancer patients.

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.

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

Director's Letter to the Community
Publication: Other

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