For the first time in seventeen years, a new Valerie Fund Children's Center has opened at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Paterson, NJ. The Passaic County-based outpatient facility neighbors the northern New Jersey counties of Morris and Essex where several other Valerie Fund Centers are located.
The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology division at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital was established in 1996, and treats a diverse population of patients. Much like the population treated at The Valerie Fund's Newark Beth Israel Center, English is not the primary language of patients and their families. At St. Joseph's Center, 60% are Spanish speaking and 10% speak Arabic.
The Valerie Fund immediately enhanced the existing core services at St. Joseph's, their social work and child life programs and hired a psychologist, educational liaison and financial specialist. This team is led by Dr. Jill Menell, Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and Bill Copeck, Nurse Manager.
Dr. Jill Menell with Valerie Fund patient, Johansel
The Pediatric Cancers and Blood Disorders Center at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital hosts approximately 5,000 outpatient visits each year. With this new partnership, an additional 1,000 patients in the tri-state area will be treated by The Valerie Fund. The Pediatric Hematology/Oncology division at St. Joseph's has a similar model to The Valerie Fund's where family members are included during the treatment process.
Dr. Jill Menell has been looking forward to the collaboration. "We are so excited that our patients will have the benefit of being a part of The Valerie Fund family. We provide excellent medical care for our patients, but the psychosocial piece is equally as important to the well-being of the child and the entire family unit. With The Valerie Fund's generosity, we can support these positions, as well as several new team members, to ensure that the diseases our patients have and the treatments they receive will not limit their success in school and in life."
Bill Copeck, with Valerie Fund patient, Andre
Bill Copeck, is excited about the power in the partnership that benefits so many. "It has been such a great opportunity for St. Joseph's Children's Hospital to become a part of The Valerie Fund family. Expanding our current psychosocial services to provide more educational assistance, financial guidance and counseling services will be a benefit to our patients and their families. There is so much more to treatment of disease than medicine and nursing; child life and social work also play a very important role in successfully caring for patients. The Valerie Fund's generosity will go a long way towards expanding these services. We are all thankful for this new relationship."
The Valerie Fund also refurbished a wonderful recreation room at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital for the patients when they are at the Center for treatment. The room is a warm and inviting space for patients to play, relax, and also spend time learning about their illnesses while they are visiting. Pictured below is a Valerie Fund patient, Jh'uryne, using the new recreation room.
Child Life Specialist, Shaundra McCarter, with Valerie Fund patient, Jh'uryne
After their nine-year-old daughter Valerie succumbed to cancer in 1976, Sue and Ed Goldstein were determined that no family should have to travel great distances to receive state-of-the-art medical care. Today, more than 6,000 children with cancer and blood disorders benefit immeasurably by receiving their medical treatment close to home in a child-centered environment. The Valerie Fund ensures they do not have to rely on insurance reimbursements to receive a range of customized therapeutic services that enhance their quality of life. For more information, please visit www.thevaleriefund.org.