University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute receives LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project award

December 6, 2010

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute is a LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project award recipient. The $16,000 award will go toward establishing an artist-in-residence program for children undergoing proton therapy for cancer treatment.

The Community Impact Project created by LIVESTRONG, the organization founded by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, will bring proven cancer support programs to 55 communities across the United States, including Jacksonville. As the only proton therapy facility in the southeastern United States, UF Proton Therapy Institute plans to apply the awarded funds to a program integrating health care and the arts for pediatric patients treated at the Jacksonville facility.

Among 179 qualified hospitals, cancer centers and community organizations in eight regions across the United States, UF Proton Therapy Institute was selected to participate in an online voting campaign. After more than 260,000 votes were cast over a two-week period, UF Proton Therapy Institute was confirmed as one of 65 programs to receive a grant.

Through collaboration with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the United Kingdom National Health Service, approximately 80 percent of UF Proton Therapy Institute pediatric patients are not Jacksonville residents and must relocate to the city for two months to receive treatment. The artist-in-residence program will provide a creative outlet for patients during their stay and provide an extended support system for them in their new facility and environment. These artists will sit bedside or meet in groups with the patients and guide them in artistic expression.

Since its inception in 1997, LIVESTRONG has invested more than $68 million in community-centered organizations such as the artist-in-residence program.

UF Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine and the UF Shands Cancer Center, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing the disease. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. For more information about UF Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org, or call toll-free 877-686-6009.

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