Teens and young adults in treatment for cancer at Akron Children’s are now able to feel more at home in custom-designed patient rooms created just for them.
The Adolescent and Young Adult wing at the Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders features 6 renovated rooms for patients ages 13 to 23. The rooms include a more mature color palette with a bit of edgy whimsy, thanks to a neon light fixture that can change colors.
The rooms nicely compliment the recently updated Teen Room on the wing. It features a brick wall with four flat screen televisions that can be programed individually or in sync as one large screen.
A pool table, bistro table and chairs and comfy sectional couch provide spots for patients to relax with family and visitors.
Dr. Jeffrey Hord, director of the Showers Center, said improving the experience for teen and young adult patients with cancer can lead to better outcomes.
“Across the country, teens and young adults with cancer have not seen the same improvement in survival as younger children,” Dr. Hord said. “This is in part related to a lack of care coordination and less participation in clinical research trials. It is our goal to offer facilities that make this population feel comfortable and offer multiple research opportunities, and to provide programs to meet the unique needs of this age group such as fertility preservation and vocational counseling.”
Social worker Maria Hartland worked with the center’s teen group, which meets monthly, to get ideas for the changes.
“It was important to us to ask patients who are spending time in the rooms what they want from the rooms,” she said. “Fairies and bears on the walls were a little immature. We wanted a modern, fresh look. We want them to be as comfortable as they can be.”
The renovations were made possible thanks to the family of Jeffrey A. Barbour, LOPen Charities, Giant Eagle, the Emerging Leaders Board of Akron Children’s Hospital through Dancing for the Kids, the Friends of Akron Children’s Hospital, Sandra and Richey Smith, the George H. Deuble Foundation, Ken and Janette Deininger, the Showers Family Foundation, Go4theGoal, and the Charles and Patricia Perrin Family Fund of the Akron Community Foundation.