Skip to main content Skip to main content

Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders

Includes specialty programs: Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program / Brain Tumor Program / Cancer Survivorship Program / Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center / Biorepository and Targeted Therapy Program / Sickle Cell Program / Stem Cell Transplant Program

Featured Image

Our specially trained and certified oncology staff treats a variety of pediatric cancers and offers a broad range of expertise in cancer and bleeding disorders. Studies have shown that the survival rates for infants, children, teens and young adults treated at a pediatric cancer center are greater than those at an adult hospital.

Our team includes board-certified pediatric hematologists-oncologists, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, certified pediatric oncology nurses, pharmacists, clinical research associates, child life specialists, social workers, psychologists and educators. We also work closely with other specialty departments as needed, including surgery, pathology, radiology, pain management, nutrition, adolescent medicine, physical therapy, palliative care and genetics.

On average, we care for 8 newly-diagnosed children with cancer each month. The most common types of cancer are leukemia, brain and central nervous system cancers.

We are also active in national clinical trials for childhood cancer and blood disorders and explore the causes and treatment of these diseases through our basic science research program.

As a member of 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 program is one of only about a dozen pediatric cancer programs in the country verified by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

As a major teaching institution affiliated with Northeast Ohio Medical University, we also train future doctors who want to specialize in pediatric hematology-oncology through our accredited fellowship training program.

For children and teens with high-risk tumors or cancers that have been unresponsive to standard treatment options, we offer individualized therapies through our Shannon E. Wilkes Targeted Therapy Program. This form of medicine uses information about the genetic make-up of a patient's cancer to identify drugs or other treatments that block the growth and spread of cancer.

Targeted therapies are typically less harmful to normal cells than standard chemotherapy. 

Why Akron Children's

SPECIALIZED TEAMS FOR:
Cancer Survivorship
Hemostasis & Thrombosis
Sickle Cell
Bone Marrow Transplant
Pediatric Brain Tumor Program

National leader in improving quality and safety in Hematology-Oncology


In 2023, the Showers Family Center served patients from 40 counties in Ohio and 9 other states

Jeffrey Hord, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Hord has been practicing since 1995 and joined Akron Children’s in 1999. He serves as the Director of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and the LOPen Charities and Mawaka Family Chair in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and 2023-24 Vice President of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Kentucky, he completed his residency at The Ohio State University and fellowship at Vanderbilt University. He has a special interest in oncology, hematology, oncology supportive care, practice management, and reducing central line associated blood stream infections. Dr. Hord is board-certified in pediatric hematology-oncology.

Meet Jeffrey Hord, MD

Erin Wright, MD

Dr. Erin Wright has been in practice since 2019. After receiving her medical degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), she completed her residency at the University South Florida, followed by a neuro-oncology fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and a hematology-oncology fellowship at Akron Children’s. She has a special interest in brain and spinal cord tumors, neurofibromatosis/tumor predisposition syndromes, and targeted therapies. Dr. Wright is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology-oncology. 

Meet Erin Wright, MD

Sarah Rush, MD

Dr. Sarah Rush has been practicing since 2010 and joined Akron Children’s in 2013. She serves as the Chief Medical Information Officer, the Marci M. Matthews Endowed Chair in Telehealth, the Director of Neuro-oncology and the VP of Informatics. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, she completed her residency at Akron Children’s and fellowships at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and The Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. She has a special interest in pediatric neuro-oncology and neurocutaneous disorders. Dr. Rush is board-certified in pediatric hematology-oncology. Sarah Rush, MD, chief medical information officer at Akron Children’s, joined the hospital in 2013 as a pediatric oncologist specializing in the treatment of children with brain and spinal cord tumors and has been an active member of the hospital’s physician informatics group since 2016.

Meet Sarah Rush, MD

Stephanie Savelli, MD

Dr. Stephanie Savelli has been practicing since 2006. She joined Akron Children’s as an attending physician and serves as the Director of the Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist Fellowship Program and the Survivorship and Late Effects Program. After receiving her medical degree from State University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, she completed her residency at the Cleveland Clinic and fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She has a special interest in childhood cancer survivorship and late effects, bleeding disorders in women, and thrombotic disorders. Dr. Savelli is board-certified in pediatric hematology-oncology. 

Meet Stephanie Savelli, MD

Steven Kuerbitz, MD

Dr. Steven J. Kuerbitz has been in practice since 1991 and joined Akron Children’s in 2001. After receiving his medical degree from Wayne State University, he completed his residency at Indiana University/Purdue University of Indiana and the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children and fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has a special interest in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, cancer genetics/epigenetics, and drug resistance in osteosarcoma. Dr. Kuerbitz is board-certified in pediatric hematology-oncology. 

Meet Steven Kuerbitz, MD

542 Bleeding and clotting disorder patients

received care in 2023

Make a donation to support the Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders

View a list of Funds

DONATE


Related Video
Boardman child goes viral after undergoing cancer treatment
Related Video
Hats of Hope:10 year old with cancer collects hats for fellow patients at Akron Children's
Related Video
Eye doctor visit turns into cancer diagnosis

Locations

Contact Cancer and Blood Disorders

330-543-8580

Location Small Image
Cancer and Blood Disorders
Akron Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders
Main Hospital Building
214 West Bowery Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-3220
More about this location...
Map & directions
Location Small Image
Cancer and Blood Disorders, Boardman
Akron Children's Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, Boardman
Leonard J. Fisher Family Building
6505 Market Street, Building A
Boardman, Ohio 44512
Fax: 330-746-9523
More about this location...
Map & directions
No Location Photo
Cancer and Blood Disorders, Millersburg
Akron Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders, Millersburg
1261 Wooster Road
Suite 220
Millersburg, Ohio 44654
More about this location...
Map & directions

Our Doctors/Providers

Department Heads:
Jeffrey Hord
Jeffrey Hord, MD

Director, Division of Hematology-Oncology; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist; LOPen Charities and Mawaka Family Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Vice President, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology 2023-2024

Loading patient reviews...
Physicians/Providers:

Prasad Bodas, MD

Director, Sickle Cell Program; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

loading...

Hannah Elkus, MD, MS

Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist; Director, Quality Improvement, Hematology-Oncology

loading...

Nicole Kendel, MD

Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

loading...

Steven Kuerbitz, MD

Director, Divisional Research, Shannon E. Wilkes Targeted Therapy Program; The Jeffrey A. Barbour Chair for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Research and Healing; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

loading...

Vanisha Patel, MD

Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

loading...

Daniel Pettee, DO

Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program; Director, Solid Tumor Program; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

loading...

Sarah Rush, MD

Vice President, Informatics; Chief Medical Information Officer; Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist; Marci M. Matthews Endowed Chair in Telehealth

loading...

Megan Sampson, MD

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Program Director; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

loading...

Stephanie Savelli, MD

Director, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

loading...

Erin Wright, MD

Director, Neuro-Oncology; Director, Shannon E. Wilkes Targeted Therapy Program; Co-Director, Neurofibromatosis Clinic; Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist

loading...

Mallory Zehe, PsyD

Pediatric Psychologist

loading...
Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants:

Lauren Beck, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

loading...

Courtney Culbertson, MSN, APRN-CNP

Stem Cell Transplant Program Coordinator; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Co-Lead Hematology/Oncology Advance Practice Providers

loading...

Julia Golden, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

loading...

Ashley Heath, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

loading...

Jamie Jordan, PA-C

Physician Assistant

loading...

Alexis Judd, PA-C

Physician Assistant

loading...

Emily Lyon, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

loading...

Christie Matulka, APRN-CNP

Nurse Practitioner

loading...

Allison Orf, PA-C

Physician Assistant

loading...

Mary Pelini, PA-C

Physician Assistant

loading...

Allyson Schabel, APRN-CNP

Nurse Practitioner

loading...

Valerie Senko, PA-C

Physician Assistant

loading...

Terri Vaccarelli, PA-C

Physician Assistant

loading...

Amanda Watson, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

loading...

Drew Westfall, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Co-Lead Hematology/Oncology Advance Practice Providers

loading...

Facts & Stats

1 of 9 Pediatric Cancer Programs
1 of 9 Ped Cancer Programs
Recognized by the American College of Surgeons
1 of 150
1 of 150
Federally designated hemostasis & thrombosis centers in US
Bleeding & Clotting Disorder Patients
542 Patients
with bleeding & clotting disorders received care in 2023
1 of 6 Sickle Cell Centers
1 of 6
Regional Sickle Cell Centers in Ohio
Ohio and 9 states
40 Counties and 9 Other States
Our patients come from 40 Ohio counties and 9 other states

Open Clinical Studies


Currently recruiting

Selumetinib in Treating Young Patients With Recurrent or Refractory Low Grade Glioma

For complete details, please view the study on clinicaltrials.gov.

Study in conjunction with Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

More about this study...


Currently recruiting

Family Support

Akron Children’s offers many resources to support for our cancer patients and their loved ones, not only while going through treatment but ongoing.

COC Accreditation

The Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has granted three-year accreditation to the cancer program at Akron Children's. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.

Camp Ed Bear

Registration will open in mid-March.


Some of the Conditions We Treat...

ALL, AML, astrocytoma, bone cancer, bone and soft tissue tumors, brain and spinal cord tumors, cancer, craniopharyngiomas, ependymoma, Ewing sarcoma, germ cell tumors, glioma, Hodgkin's lymphoma, kidney tumors, leukemia, liver tumors, lymphoma, medulloblastoma, melanoma, neuroblastoma, neutropenia, oligodendrogliomas, osteosarcoma, pineoblastomas, retinoblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, thyroid masses, tumor, aplastic anemia, bleeding disorder, blood disorders, G6PD deficiency, hemophilia, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, ITP, iron-deficiency anemia, severe combined immunodeficiency, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, von Willebrand disease



Related Stories

What next?

By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies. To learn more, read our privacy policy.

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.