September 22, 2023
Stress-relief, family-friendly cancer care for Florida pediatric cancer patients

Photo: Greg Pachkowski/USA Today

Cindi Bonner is director of Rally Pensacola, which created a resource room at the Studer Family Children's Hospital so parents could conduct personal business without having to leave the hospital.

Economic Backbone: Cancer Care

Stress-relief, family-friendly cancer care for Florida pediatric cancer patients

Carlton Proctor | 1/26/2022

Two non-profit Pensacola organizations have joined forces to help pediatric cancer patients and their families relieve some of the stress and financial strain while their children undergo prolonged treatment periods.

IMPACT 100, an all-woman philanthropic group, recently awarded a $101,820 grant to the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research to create a business-center style office space at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola.

The new Rally Resource Room will provide parents with a dedicated space to work, pay bills, check emails, take calls and conduct other day-to-day office needs without having to leave the hospital.

“Knowing they have a designated workspace will help alleviate some stress of parents and the caregivers,” says Rally Pensacola Director Cindi Bonner.


Ascension Sacred Heart creates a family-friendly pediatric oncology unit.

Dr. Jeffrey H. Schwartz is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. In a recent interview with FLORIDA TREND, he discussed how the new Pediatric Oncology Center for Hope at the Studer Family Children’s Hospital has improved patient treatment and family experience.

Dedicated Center: "The new center gives us a fully separate treatment unit. In the past, our patients were intermixed with other patients throughout the hospital, which wasn’t a big problem from a day-to-day care standpoint. But the new center does eliminate or reduce our young patients’ potential exposure to other infectious diseases."

Creating Distractions: "The second benefit is this unit is much more family and child oriented. There’s a small movie theater and a children’s playroom, which allow our patients and their families to get out of their rooms, interact with other families and form relationships. It's just such an awesome distraction for them."

Dog Therapy: "We’ve also started what we call the facility dog program. We have four dogs that belong to some members of our staff. The dogs come daily and interact with the children, who really light up when they see them. The facility dogs just have made a huge difference with our patients and our staff members. It’s been a wonderful addition to our program."

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