Thanks to a $2 million donation from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin plans to create an outpatient treatment center for children impacted by cancer and blood disorders.
The Northwestern Mutual Day Hospital for Childhood Cancer, slated to open in early 2015, will be located in a renovated space on the fifth floor of the Children’s Hospital and will include exam, treatment and conference rooms. It will also hold a community room where families of patients can gather during times of treatment and where patients and families can take part in fun and educational activities guided by specially trained staff members.
The new space will support the hospital’s commitment to quality treatment and will also foster a “family-friendly” environment for patients, their relatives and their friends.
“In my view, one of the contributing factors to how well one responds to treatment and responds to the cancer they’re dealing with is how well they feel about the facility, the place they’re at and the people who are treating them,” said John Kordsmeier, vice president of strategic philanthropy and president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, which represents the charitable arm of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual.
Any way the environment of a treatment facility can be enhanced “can only reinforce the positive nature of the treatment they’re receiving,” Kordsmeier said.
The Northwestern Mutual Day Hospital for Childhood Cancer, which will exist within the MACC Fund Center at the Children’s Hospital, will also house a pharmacy where hospital pharmacists will be able to put together individualized treatment plans for cancer patients.
Discussions between the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and the Children’s Hospital about the outpatient treatment center stemmed from the hospital’s need for a pharmacy and overtime turned to the need for community and treatment rooms as well as the need for a flexible, adaptable and visually stimulating space, according to Kordsmeier.
The $2 million project boosts Northwestern Mutual Foundation’s ongoing support of childhood cancer research and assistance to families touched by the disease. Northwestern Mutual, which earlier this month was named BizTimes’ corporation of the year, launched a Childhood Cancer Program in July 2012. Through the program, the company has funded more than 15,000 hours of research and helped 200 families needing to travel for treatment purposes.
Nationally, Northwestern Mutual has collected more than $2.3 million to help accelerate childhood cancer research.