BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Another first for Boca Raton Regional Hospital, as it joins a program designed to help the children of cancer patients.
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is the first cancer program in the state of Florida to offer the Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery (CLIMB®) Program to children of cancer patients. Developed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation®, a non-profit organization dedicated to the emotional support of children who have parents with cancer, the CLIMB Program helps youngsters cope and share their feelings of concern during this stressful time in their lives.
CLIMB will be offered to children ages six to 11 and will meet once per week for four weeks. Under the direction of a specially trained clinical social worker, the sessions use discussion and art to help participants express their feelings. Children are provided with their own workbook, which they can share with family members. There is no charge for the program.
According to Elsa Raynor, a licensed clinical social worker at Boca Regional’s Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute, CLIMB has been implemented at some of the nation’s leading cancer centers such as MD Anderson and Memorial Sloan-Kettering where the program has demonstrated a significant, positive impact on these children. “Our colleagues at other institutions have found the CLIMB Program to be very beneficial at increasing a child’s understanding of cancer and its treatments, normalizing their feelings of sadness and better equipping them to express and manage any anger they may be experiencing,” she said.
Raynor commented that other benefits include improved communication between the parent and child and essentially teaching children that their parent’s cancer is “not their fault” and they are not alone.
The CLIMB Program is part of a robust and innovative series of initiatives at the Lynn Cancer Institute that are aimed at addressing the varied and sometimes daunting non-clinical needs of a cancer patient and their loved ones. CLIMB is a component of theInstitute’s broader HUGS (Helping U Get Support) Program, which is a comprehensive effort to support children and teens. Both are part of the umbrella CINDY Bertuch Rosencrans Life Expressions Program, which was founded at the Institute and provides emotional, personal, educational and logistical support for a patient and their family at all phases of diagnosis and treatment, with an emphasis on supporting the end-of-life process.
“We take great pride in the therapeutic aspects of our services at the Lynn Cancer Institute, which have received national recognition for their quality and capabilities,” noted Louise Morrell, MD, Medical Director. “That said, we have made a concerted effort to also provide the psychosocial support and care for patients and their families that is so vitally important and often lacks the emphasis it deserves. These unique programs are indicative of that commitment.”