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    Stony Brook Medicine Wins LIVESTRONG Grants for New Programs

    Funds totaling $23,270 earned through national online voting competition

    STONY BROOK, NY, May 2, 2014 - Stony Brook Medicine has received two LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project grants totaling $23,270 to provide a photography arts program for children with cancer and a trauma resiliency program for healthcare workers who deal with cancer patients.

    The first grant, totaling $12,595, will allow the Stony Brook University Cancer Center to provide the Pablove Shutterbugs pediatric photography arts program for children and teens with cancer. As the signature arts program of The Pablove Foundation, Pablove Shutterbugs teaches children living with cancer to express their creative voice through the art of photography.

    In many reputable medical journals, it has been noted that "it takes more than medicine to get well,” said Margaret M. McGovern, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

    “It is well recognized that peer support and socialization for teen patients is vital to their emotional well-being,” Dr. McGovern said. “This grant will give our teenage patients/students a voice of their own, a way to develop creative thinking, foster self-esteem and nurture their independence while increasing their joy and passion for life.”

    The program will support the Child Life program’s philosophy at Stony Brook Children’s by promoting normal growth and developmental milestones in the teenage years, said Lauren Sharaby, MS, CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Stony Brook Cancer Center.

    Participants in the program will learn the principles and techniques of photography through carefully crafted lessons on composition, perspective, and storytelling. The program aims to increase a student’s sense of joy, encourage creative thinking, foster self-esteem and develop independence. Patients will get to keep their point-and-shoot camera kits upon completion of the program, so they can continue practicing creative expression for years to come.

    The second LIVESTRONG grant, for $10,675, will create the Vital Hearts Secondary Trauma Resiliency Program, which will allow Stony Brook Cancer Center to care for its clinical staff and ensure that they are mentally prepared for the daily rigors of caring for cancer patients. Cancer exacts a huge toll, not only on the patient and family, but also on the healthcare workers who care for them.

    “We offer proven resources to our clinicians as they deal with the critically ill and frightened patient and as they cope with the loss of those they have grown fond of and have been unable to save,” said Yusuf A Hannun, MD, Director, Stony Brook Cancer Center, Vice Dean for Cancer Medicine, and Joel Kenny Professor of Medicine at Stony Brook University. “It is our hope to grow this program to offer ongoing support sessions for our healthcare staff.”

    “The ability to offer staff support in a safe, non-judgmental environment is vital to the staff's well-being,” said Jeannie Gaspard, RN, MSN, OCN, NEA-BC, Interim Associate Director of Cancer Services. “Nurses, social workers, physicians and clinical assistants are vital to the successful navigation of a cancer journey for the patient and their families.”

    The grants were received as a result of national online voting from March 24 through April 11.

    Representatives of Stony Brook Medicine and Stony Brook Children’s celebrate receiving LIVESTRONG grants, left to right: Laura Vogeli, RN, nurse navigator, Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center, trainer for the Vital Hearts program; Lauren Sharaby, CCLS, Child Life Specialist, pediatric Shutterbug program coordinator; Anna Perez, RN, nurse administrator for Stony Brook University Cancer Center; Darlene Kenny, LSW, Oncology Social Worker, Vital Hearts program; Carol Amodeo, RN, nurse manager for Surgical Oncology, trainer for Vital Hearts; Lauren Richard, LSW, Oncology Social Worker, Vital Hearts program; and Patricia Doty, RN, nurse manager, 19 North and South.