Support Services and Programs
Due to the enormous impact a cancer diagnosis has in the life of a patient and his or her family, a team of social workers is an integral part of the cancer support services offered by the Cancer Center at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. A social worker is present when the family first meets with the physician to discuss the diagnosis and continues to play a supportive, clinical role throughout the child’s treatment. Social workers participate in weekly multidisciplinary meetings to review the care plan of each hospitalized child. Social workers also work individually with patients, parents, siblings and extended family members, assisting them in their adjustment process to illness and hospitalization. When indicated, social workers consult closely with psychiatrists and behavioral medicine specialists for additional clinical interventions. The social work team facilitates diverse parent support groups and refers families for other cancer support services, such as financial, housing, transportation, day-care and bereavement-related services as needed.
Psychiatric and Psychological Services
Child and adolescent psychiatric consultation is part of an integrated, comprehensive evaluation of many hematology/oncology patients. Chronic pediatric illness of almost any kind with recurrent hospitalization is a psychological risk factor for children. The rate of psychiatric illness in children with both chronic medical conditions and disability is three times greater than non-compromised children. Every child with a pediatric illness requiring hospitalization experiences a psychological reaction. The degree of reaction varies with the developmental level and the level of function prior to illness, as well as the state and reaction of the family and the severity of the illness. The divisions of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Nicklaus Children's Hospital offer individual therapy for the patient, family therapy and participate in the patient and family support groups.
Volunteer organizations are the lifeblood of any institution. Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, is fortunate to have the support of the United Order True Sisters, Miami #43, since 1958. This entity has a long tradition of providing support services to the patients of the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Cancer Center, including sponsorship of the annual summer cancer camp.
A holiday party in December brings children with cancer together to celebrate the joys of the season with staff and friends and acquaintances from the hospital. A cancer survivor’s day celebration is held each June, with dozens of patients and their families in attendance.
The Pediatric Cancer Center Brochure
Click here to download the Pediatric Cancer Center Brochure (PDF Format)
Camp United Order True Sisters
The annual summer camp is a dream come true for children with cancer and their families. Participants enjoy typical summer activities while under the care of their Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, doctors and nurses, who serve as the camp counselors. The week-long sleep-away camp is free and open to all Nicklaus Children's Hospital cancer patients. Activities include arts and crafts, sports and a variety of field trips.
Cancer Camp is a 6 nights, 7 day sleep away camp for children with cancer between the ages of 7 and 17 years treated at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital. It is sponsored by United Orders True Sisters charity organization and in July 2009, we mark the 19th anniversary. It is an extra ordinary experience that includes swimming with the dolphins, visit to theme parks in Orlando and visit to Cirque de Soleil. It is done by a group of dedicated doctors, nurses and counselors primarily University students or graduates with close one to one supervision.
Sickle Cell Comprehensive Care Center
This program is devoted to the care of children stricken with Sickle Cell Disease and other hereditary blood disorders. Approximately 300 children are followed on a regular basis under leadership of Dr. Pefkarou and the nurse coordinator Roxanna Diaz. The program servers not only to perfect the management of the disease but to improve the understanding of the disease by the families, provide preventive measures, genetic counseling and family support with the help of a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, social workers and bone marrow transplanters. For more information or if you wish to make an appointment please call (305) 662-8360.