Review – Pediatric proton therapy program awarded

The University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute (UFPTI, Jacksonville) was granted a special award for its pediatric program at the annual Celebration of Excellence Awards event of the UF Shands Cancer Center.

UFPTI a nonprofit organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing cancer. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 110 patients a day. The institute treats on average 20 children each day, the most of any proton therapy center worldwide.

The UFPTI pediatric proton program was selected for the highest level of dedication and patient-focused mission in caring for pediatric patients, and won the Top Team Effort Award. « The pediatric team at UFPTI does more than treat the tumor. The cohesive team places continuous effort into bettering the life of the child with cancer », the nominator said.

« Families are often displaced from familiar surroundings for six to eight weeks during the most stressful time of their lives. The team meets before the patient arrives to coordinate care and cover every aspect of anticipated need for each child and family. The whole team — physicians, medical assistants, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, and transport driver — work as a unit to provide a nurturing and safe environment for children, to celebrate treatment milestones, and to provide emotional support for the children and their families. »