The ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Florida Hospital for Children newly renovated cancer unit last December. The state-of-the-art rooms include space for families to spend time together throughout the various treatments offered. [Photo: Florida Hospital News]


Adventist Hospital for Children Debuts Renovated Cancer Unit

Florida Hospital facilities now include space for the little patients’ families.

Florida Hospital for Children was pleased to open its renovated hematology and oncology unit, which features significantly larger patient rooms, state-of-the-art equipment, and a family lounge, a few days before Christmas.

Florida Hospital for Children’s hematology and oncology unit was first built more than 15 years ago. The 16 small rooms didn’t have space for modern hospital features or to accommodate guests. To meet today’s needs, the unit was redesigned with 12 state-of-the-art rooms, which include sleeping and storage spaces for each family.

For cancer patients who often have a lengthy stay at the hospital, space is more than just comfort; it is part of the recovery process, especially when they have to be isolated in their rooms due to a weak immune system.

“Healthcare and medicine have evolved significantly since this unit was originally designed, and we now know the importance families play in healing,” said Fouad Hajjar, medical director of hematology and oncology at Florida Hospital for Children. “These can be very challenging times for our patients and their families, and we want to provide an environment that is healing for all.”

The redesign, which took into account the feedback from the families, also includes a common family area where parents can relax and support each other, a new playroom, and nurse workstations.

The renovation was made possible, in part, by Runway to Hope. The organization, founded by Mark and Josie NeJame, is a longtime Florida Hospital for Children partner dedicated to raising awareness and fighting childhood cancer.

“Runway to Hope is committed to helping all families facing the challenges and ravages of pediatric cancer. Whenever there is a need for us in Central Florida, we’ll be there,” said Mark NeJame.

His wife Josie NeJame concurred.

“We are humbled that Florida Hospital for Children is dedicating their new hematology and oncology playroom after Runway to Hope and our NeJame family,” she said. “We hope that this modern and fully equipped playroom will bring endless hours of support, joy, and happiness to these brave kids as they battle their disease.”

Florida Hospital, which is owned and operated by the Adventist Health System has been guided by the mission “To Extend the Healing Ministry of Christ” since it was founded in 1908. “It is a mission embedded in all that we do,” reads its official statement.

Senior executive officer of Florida Hospital for Children Marla Silliman said the new achievement is the result of many people working together.

“It is the result of a community-wide effort, and we are grateful for our partners, donors, and physicians who are improving the healing experience of countless children and helping advance pediatric medicine,” she said.

Patients began to move into the new unit just before Christmas.

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