The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute received a $66,000 grant from the Go4TheGoal Foundation. Funds from the grant will be used to launch the Go4TheGoal Foundation Child Life Clinical Fellowship, the first Child Life fellowship of its kind. The program will employ two Child Life fellows, each for 12 months over a two-year period.
The Institute’s Child Life program is seen as a model for radiation oncology departments around the world. A dedicated Child Life specialist works one-on-one with pediatric cancer patients throughout treatment to promote effective coping through medical play, preparation and education. The addition of the Child Life fellowship allows the Institute to continue its innovative approach to pediatric cancer treatment.
Micalene Schwartz is the program’s first child life fellow and began her 12-month contract in May. During her fellowship, Schwartz will enhance her skills in assessing child development, understanding and coping. Her responsibilities include preparing children for medical procedures and treatment, communicating with families and advocating for the patient and their families.