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East County Wednesday, Jul. 24, 2013 4 years ago

Nonprofit develops affiliation with Moffitt

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — The Center for Building Hope, a Lakewood Ranch-based nonprofit that provides free programs and services for cancer patients and their families, is positioning itself for the national stage.

But, to start, the organization will focus on a new affiliation with the renowned Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa.

The two organizations this week announced an affiliation that will expand Center for Building Hope’s services to Moffitt, allowing the organization to provide onsite programming there.

“It’s a big project,” said Andrea Feldmar, Center for Building Hope’s program director. “We’re doing our due diligence (to see what we still need to do). We’re going to work out the details and the strategy (in the coming weeks). It’s a quantum leap in growth for us.”

The affiliation with Moffitt has been actively in negotiations since October 2012, at which time officials from Moffitt toured the center’s Lakewood Ranch campus.

Feldmar said the two organizations still are finalizing details of the agreement, but Center for Building Hope plans to offer onsite programs at Moffitt’s two existing facilities, as well as one that currently is under construction.

Programming, which will be similar to what is offered at CBH’s campus and may include yoga, art or nutrition classes and educational forums with specialists on cancer-treatment options, is expected to start this fall.

Moffitt’s Dr. Sarah Hoffe, a radiation oncologist, will serve as liaison for the project, Feldmar said.

Feldmar said the affiliation also provides opportunities for video-based educational programming, for which cancer specialists at Moffitt could lead discussions on new treatments, or other topics, with cancer patients in Tampa and at CBH’s Lakewood Ranch campus.

“This is an opportunity for us to grow our services, while continuing to provide services in our local community,” Feldmar said.

Feldmar had been working closely with seven teaching hospitals in the Chicago area, when she joined Center for Building Hope about three years ago.

“Because of my orientation (working with teaching hospitals), Moffitt seemed like a natural connection,” Feldmar said. “Moffitt is very innovative, and they do recognize the benefits of what we do.

“We reduce the isolation of cancer, anxiety and depression, and we give tools to improve quality of life,” she said. “The whole mind-body component is another spoke in the wheel for treating cancer.”

Center for Building Hope’s programs are aimed at educating cancer patients and their families about cancer and treatment options, as well as to promote stress reduction, overall wellness and a positive attitude.

Feldmar said Moffitt will be a great informational resource, as well, providing content for the Center for Building Hope to push out to its future cross-country affiliate network, called the “Network for Building Hope.”

CBH also announced this week the launch of its $5 million “Say I Do” campaign, to fund the network.

Singer/songwriter and two-time breast-cancer survivor Margo Rey and her fiancé, comedian Ron White, will lead the fundraising effort on behalf of CBH’s Brides Against Breast Cancer program.

Funds will be used to provide programming and training for affiliate organizations, including cancer support groups, to enhance online cancer-related educational and support services. Money also will be used to produce “self-care” videos and other programs for free national distribution to individuals affected by cancer.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

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