The NASCAR Foundation finalizes donation to pediatric oncology unit

The activity room inside the Pediatric Immunocompromised Unit at Shands Hospital for Children at UF
The activity room inside the Pediatric Immunocompromised Unit at Shands Hospital for Children at UF, which The NASCAR Foundation supports. The room provides an escape for the hundreds of children being cared for by the dedicated staff of nurses, therapists and child life specialists.

The NASCAR Foundation recently announced that it made final installment of $100,000 as part of a record donation to Shands Hospital for Children at UF. In partnership with the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the commitment totaled $500,000 – the single largest donation that The NASCAR Foundation has been a part of to support a new pediatric oncology unit. By providing this state-of-the-art facility, The NASCAR Foundation and the V Foundation are supporting the expert care given by UF physicians, Shands nurses and the entire health care team.

Each foundation committed $250,000 toward the 18-bed inpatient unit that serves approximately 14 pediatric patients a day. UF physicians and Shands nurses at the facility care for an estimated 288 patients annually.

“When a parent learns that their child has cancer, their world is changed forever,” said Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., Nemours eminent scholar, professor and chair, department of pediatrics at the College of Medicine. “Through the wonderful support of The NASCAR Foundation, we help brighten the lives of the families touched by this tough disease and other immunodeficiencies. We are grateful for our fantastic partnership with The NASCAR Foundation, which touches children’s lives every day throughout the state of Florida.”

The new unit, which is now fully operational, allows young patients to have easier access to their primary care physicians during treatments at the facility. The UF division of hematology/oncology at Shands Hospital for Children at UF sees nearly 100 new cancer patients per year, with a significant number participating in clinical trials.

Among the direct benefits, the donation has helped fund the construction of an inpatient unit that allows more efficient treatment and communication among staff, patients and their families. The gift has also assisted in the funding for training for a specialized corps of pediatric oncology nurses dedicated to the unit.

“The NASCAR Foundation is proud to continue making a difference in the lives of children with cancer and critical diseases,” said Betty Jane France, The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman. “We can see the direct impact this contribution is making to Shands Hospital for Children at UF and are delighted to know we are helping improve the quality of care through this donation, from providing a cleaner and safer environment for children to delivering specialized nursing and promising new medications and treatments.”

The V Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer, has a well-established record of supporting cancer research.

For more information please visit the Nascar Foundation website or the UF Health website.