UF Health Proton Therapy Institute receives grant from Go4theGoal®

May 22, 2017

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Grant to expand Child Life Program, fund two child life fellows

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 22, 2017) — The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute was named recipient of a $66,000 grant from the Go4TheGoal Foundation to launch a child life clinical fellowship program. The Go4TheGoal Foundation Child Life Clinical Fellowship, a first of its kind, will employ two child life fellows, each fellowship lasting 12 months over a two-year period. As patient population increases, the program will add additional resources to continue the Institute’s innovative approach to supporting children going through cancer treatment and their families.

“We are honored to be the recipients of Go4TheGoal’s grant to offer comprehensive training to future child life specialists as well as the opportunity to expand our own program,” said Kim Todd, Child Life Specialist, UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. “Combining advanced proton therapy technology with comprehensive child life programming allows us to provide the highest-quality care for all our pediatric patients with cancer.”

Over the past decade, the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute’s child life program has been identified as a model for radiation oncology departments worldwide. A dedicated child life specialist works one-on-one with children throughout treatment to promote effective coping through medical play, preparation and education. This dedicated approach results in less emotional distress, better overall coping during treatment, a clearer understanding of procedures, and a more positive physical recovery and post-treatment adjustment.

“We are thrilled to help the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute launch a fellowship program dedicated to child life treatment,” said Beth Stefanacci, executive director, Go4theGoal Foundation. “The program and innovative approach at the Institute clearly aligns with Go4TheGoal’s mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer.”

At the conclusion of each twelve-month period, the fellow will have developed his or her skills in assessing children's development, understanding and coping; preparing children for treatment and various procedures; communicating with families; advocating for the role of the child life specialist, the patient and the family; and group presentation skills. 

About UF Health Proton Therapy Institute

UF Health Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Health Cancer Center, a Florida Cancer Center of Excellence, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing cancer. It is an accredited radiation oncology facility by the American College of Radiology. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. For more information about the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org, or call toll-free 877-426-9790.

About Go4TheGoal Foundation

Go4theGoal Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2006 by Dr. Richard and Beth Stefanacci, soon after their oldest child was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.  In 2011 Go4theGoal launched 2 national campaigns, National Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day and Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer®.  These campaigns give schools, businesses, and sports teams an opportunity to raise awareness and much needed support for kids battling cancer.  Go4theGoal provides children undergoing cancer treatment and their families with financial assistance, funds hospital-based programs and environment improvements, grants special wishes, and has funded over $1,000,000.00 in research since 2007.  For the past 5 consecutive years Go4theGoal has earned the honor of "Top Rated Non-Profit" by Great Nonprofits.  Go4theGoal.org



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