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Contact: Jackie McGinnis
ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2003 The new Morrell Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders was dedicated at the Childrens Hospital at Albany Med today. The new facility was made possible by part of a $1.5 million gift from James and Kathy Morrell of Loudonville.
For the first time in the history of our Child Cancer Program, our patients now have a separate outpatient area that will enable them to receive chemotherapy and other treatments in a bright, attractive setting with other children with the same or similar diseases, said David A. Clark, M.D., director of the Childrens Hospital. We are indebted to the Morrells for this wonderful addition which will greatly enhance the care our patients receive.
James J. Barba, chairman of the Board and president and CEO of the Medical Center, also thanked the Morrells for their generosity. Words cannot adequately express the gratitude our staff feels towards the Morrells for making this wonderful new facility possible. It will enable our nurses, physicians, and support staff to even better meet our childrens significant medical and emotional needs by providing an upbeat, and even playful environment in which to receive their ongoing care and consultations.
Previously, children with cancer and blood disorders received their outpatient care with other pediatric patients on two different floors of the Medical Center. The new dedicated area is situated in renovated space on the fifth floor of the A Building.
The Morrells were among a group of about 50 people who attended the grand opening ceremony today. Kathy and I are pleased to support the wonderful research and treatment of children with cancer that is done at the Childrens Hospital, James Morrell stated. We would like to thank the researchers, nurses, doctors and all the staff who give of themselves in so many ways.
$500,000 of the Morrells gift was earmarked for the new facility while $1 million was set aside as a bequest to be used ultimately to establish an academic chair position in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Medical Center.
The facility consists of separate treatment areas for infants, older children and adolescents, as well as special counseling and grieving rooms. In addition, there are several exam rooms, a private area for consultations with social workers, and a conference room.
The goal of this new outpatient center is to treat not cancer patients, but children with cancer, emphasizing the importance of letting our patients still be kids, said Richard H. Sills, M.D., director of pediatric hematology and oncology. As an example, he cited one of the more interesting and innovative design features - a special mirrored window that enables staff to watch children carefully from an adjacent room while they receive their infusions in a playroom-type setting.
Each year the Child Cancer Program of Albany Med helps more than 200 children and families whose active therapies include treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. In addition, continuing care is provided for more than 500 childhood cancer survivors each year.
The Childrens Hospital at Albany Med is a 125-bed hospital-within-a-hospital devoted exclusively to the medical needs of infants, children and adolescents. It is the only such facility of its kind in the Medical Centers 23-county service area. It is staffed by more than 90 physicians trained in 34 sub-specialties and over 200 nurses. Approximately 46,000 children are treated at the Childrens Hospital each year.