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The Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders 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.

From the type of cancer to the cause, pediatric cancers are very different from adult cancers. And since they're relatively uncommon, it's important to have a dedicated oncology team whose members have spent their careers specializing in the care of all forms of childhood cancers. 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. 

A Team Approach

It takes a team to diagnose and treat children, teens and young adults with cancer and bleeding or clotting disorders. 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 at Akron Children’s as needed, such as surgery, pathology, radiology, pain management, nutrition, adolescent medicine, physical therapy, palliative care and genetics.

Advancing Cures

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.

Our division also actively participates in national clinical trials for childhood cancer and blood disorders and explores 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.

Matching A Patient With Treatment

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. 

Locations/Contact Us

Contact Cancer and Blood Disorders


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Cancer and Blood Disorders
Akron Children's Hospital
214 W. Bowery Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
Fax: 330-543-3220
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Cancer and Blood Disorders, Boardman
Akron Children's Hospital Beeghly Campus
6505 Market St., Building A
Boardman, Ohio 44512
Fax: 330-746-9523
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Our Doctors/Providers

Jeffrey Hord
Jeffrey Hord, MD

Director, Division of Hematology-Oncology; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist; LOPen Charities and Mawaka Family Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (Honoring Dr. Jeffrey Hord)

Lauren Beck
Lauren Beck, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Prasad Bodas
Prasad Bodas, MD

Director, Sickle Cell Program; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

Courtney Culbertson
Courtney Culbertson, MSN, APRN-CNP

Stem Cell Transplant Program Coordinator; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

John Fargo
John Fargo, DO

Director, Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center; Director, Divisional Quality Improvement; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

Laura Gerak
Laura Gerak, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist

Julia Golden
Julia Golden, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Ashley Heath
Ashley Heath, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Pamela Jones
Pamela Jones, MSN, APRN-CNP

Coordinator, Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program; Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Jamie Jordan
Jamie Jordan, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Alexis Judd
Alexis Judd, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Rebecca Kelley
Rebecca Kelley, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly, MD, PhD

Chief Research Officer

Steven Kuerbitz
Steven Kuerbitz, MD

Director, Divisional Research, Stem Cell Transplantation & Shannon E. Wilkes Targeted Therapy Program; Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist;

Faith Lanshe
Faith Lanshe, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Photo of Allison Orf not available
Allison Orf, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Donna Patton
Donna Patton, MD

Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

Daniel Pettee
Daniel Pettee, DO

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

Sarah Rush
Sarah Rush, MD

Director, Neuro-Oncology; Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist; Chief Medical Information Officer

Megan Sampson
Megan Sampson, MD

Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist

Stephanie Savelli
Stephanie Savelli, MD

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

Valerie Senko
Valerie Senko, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Photo of Kristen Stout not available
Kristen Stout, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Ann Stratton
Ann Stratton, MSN, APRN-CNP

Lead Hematology-Oncology Advance Practice Provider

Terri Vaccarelli
Terri Vaccarelli, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Photo of Amanda Watson not available
Amanda Watson, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Drew Westfall
Drew Westfall, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Mallory Zehe
Mallory Zehe, PsyD

Pediatric Psychologist

Open Clinical Studies

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

The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of a blood thinning drug called Apixaban versus no administration of a blood thinning drug, in preventing blood clots in children with leukemia or lymphoma. Patients must be receiving chemotherapy; including Pegylated L-Asparaginase and have a central line (a catheter inserted for administration of medications and blood sampling).

Complete study information:

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Currently recruiting

Neuroblastoma Biology Studies

For complete study information, please visit

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Currently recruiting

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

For complete study information, please view the study on

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Currently recruiting

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

Since chronic ITP of children and adults shows similarities a common database is needed to coordinate scientific activities in the field of ITP.  Clinical Data, bleeding symptoms and management will be observed continuously by long term follow-up over several years with the goal to recruit as many patients as possible.

Click here to access the database.

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Currently recruiting

Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Younger Patients With Newly Diagnosed Hodgkin Lymphoma

For complete study information, please view the study on

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Currently recruiting

Community Counts – The Registry for Bleeding Disorders Surveillance

The purpose of this project is to gather and share information about common health issues, medical complications, and causes of death that affect people with bleeding disorders cared for in the U.S. Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs). Community Counts aims to continue the work of the Universal Data Collection System, which ended in 2011.

For complete information, please visit the Registry website.

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Currently recruiting

The Severe Chronic Neutropenia International Registry (SCNIR)

This registry is to establish a global database of treatment and disease-related outcomes for persons diagnosed with SCN. Collection of this information will lead to improved medical care and is used for research to determine the causes of neutropenia.

SCNIR website.


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Currently recruiting

My Life Our Future: A Hemophilia Data and Sample Research Repository

My Life, Our Future (MLOF) is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by hemophilia through knowledge. Our goals are to enable people with hemophilia and their families to understand more about their hemophilia and to advance scientific research that may improve care and treatment. For complete information, please visit their page:

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Currently recruiting

Educational Opportunities

Fellowship Program

As a program that ranks in the top half of pediatric cancer centers in the number of new cancer cases treated each year, Akron Children's offers a robust pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship program that includes varied clinical experience with exposure to patients with virtually every form of childhood cancer and blood disorder. 

Summer Research Internship

Akron Children’s Hospital’s division of pediatric hematology-oncology offers a summer research internship to 2 medical students who have been accepted into or have completed the first year of medical school.

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