(Story and featured photo of Hudson Abbott, a cancer survivors are courtesy of Augusta University)
The grant will help fund a full-time social worker and travel expenses for pediatric cancer patients and their families at Georgia’s second largest children’s hospital, according to a April 3 press release.
“We are extremely pleased by the generosity of the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation in choosing to be a community partner with the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in our pediatric cancer program,” said Dr. Valera Hudson, the hospital’s pediatrician-in-chief and chair of the Department of Pediatrics for the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
“One of the most difficult aspects of pediatric cancer is the overall stress associated with having a chronically ill child in complicated treatment, traveling back and forth to Augusta, and the physical and emotional impact of these stressors on the patient and family. Having a full-time social worker dedicated to supporting our cancer patients and families is a huge need, especially now that we have added a pediatric bone marrow transplant program at Children’s Hospital,” Hudson said.
“Clinical social workers are core members of the oncology and transplant program,” said Dr. Amir Mian, director of the Pediatric Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at Children’s and chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in the MCG Department of Pediatrics. “They provide expertise in psychosocial care for patients, caregivers and families throughout cancer treatment and during the transplant and recovery process. Social workers also connect families with cancer support groups, financial assistance resources, and ongoing advocacy during each patient’s cancer journey.”
In addition to supporting a dedicated pediatric hematology/oncology social worker the remainder of the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation grant will create a patient financial assistance fund to provide supplementary financial support for cancer patients and their families.
“Travel to and from the hospital for critical treatment appointments and unexpected overnight or prolonged stays (hotel and meal support) can create a financial burden on families who are already overwhelmed with a pediatric cancer diagnosis. I thank the Jordan Spieth Foundation for helping us to reduce this burden,” Mian said.
The dedicated social worker will play an integral role in the identification of patients, needs assessments and the distribution of the patient assistance funds.
The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation focuses on impactful and direct lines of support through four mission-specific pillars: individuals with special needs; junior golf; military families and veterans; and pediatric cancer. The JSFF goal for its pediatric cancer pillar is to fund programs that offer direct care for children fighting cancer and their families, which includes supporting child life services, emotional and social therapies, familial respite and avenues to overcome financial burdens on families when facing a diagnosis.
The 154-bed not-for-profit Children’s Hospital of Georgia is Augusta’s only children’s hospital, providing the highest level of neonatal and pediatric intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children. Children’s Hospital of Georgia has been repeatedly ranked among the highest performing hospitals in pediatric quality and safety among more than 100 of the nation’s leading academic medical centers.
As the primary pediatric teaching partner of the Medical College of Georgia and a part of the Augusta University Health System, Children’s Hospital of Georgia aims to provide innovative, family-centered care to patients by promoting prevention and providing breakthrough treatments for children.