The Neely Cancer Fund Initiatives
The Neely Cancer Fund was created in 2001 after the establishment of The Neely House in order to continue the mission of The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care - to help cancer patients and their families during and after treatments. There is a constant increase in people being diagnosed with cancer so it is important for our Foundation to continually utilize the funds that we raise for initiatives that offer an immediate impact and assure tangible results to cancer patients and their families. Support of The Neely Cancer Fund will assure that patients with a cancer diagnosis will have access to the latest in technology and treatments and streamlined care in a comforting environment.
The Neely Cancer Fund is dedicated to finding new ways to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families as they begin their cancer journey, undergo treatment and beyond.
Marlene Neely Center for Digestive Health
The Marlene Neely Center for Digestive Health is the eighth project for The Cam Neely Foundation. The foundation pledged $1.5 million in March of 2012 to Tufts Medical Center to build a new space in honor of Cam's mother who lost her battle with colon cancer. The space will be completed in three phases which will be finished in early 2018. This space is heavily used and was very much in need of a renovation.
In designing this space, in line with other spaces we have built, we incorporated feedback and suggestions from patients and staff to ensure that the space is warm and welcoming for all who use the it. The clinic will continue offering several endoscopic procedures, including colonoscopies, panendoscopies, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, flexible sigmoidoscopy, liver biopsies and ultrasounds, as well as additional procedures and services.
With colon cancer being the 2nd leading cancer killer in the United States in cancers that affect both men and women, it's important to stay up to date on detection. This new state-of-the-art space will provide the patients and families that we support with the best in the industry in equipment and comfort.
The Michael Neely Center for Brain Tumor Care and Research
In October 2005, The Cam Neely Foundation announced its commitment to raise $5 million for the establishment of The Michael Neely Center for Brain Tumor Care and Research at Tufts Medical Center's Cancer Center, in memory of Michael Neely, Cam's father who valiantly lost his battle with brain cancer in November of 1993.
Expanding upon the Foundation's mission to provide comfort, support and hope to cancer patients and their families, the center serves as a world-class resource for patients and families experiencing the devastating effects of both cancerous and non-cancerous brain tumors as well as traumatic brain injuries. This project takes into consideration the overall experience patients have, seeing numerous doctors and going through numerous tests which can be overwhelming. With this new space, all services pertaining to brain tumor care - imaging, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and clinical trials - are coordinated from this single location. This initiative allows medical personnel to diagnose patients as a collaborative team, featuring the most current diagnostic and treatment technology, all in warm and comfortable patient environments.
Neurosurgery Outpatient Offices
Initial funding for this initiative made a tremendous impact on two of the most critical areas in the start-up of the Center - the development of outpatient clinical space and offices and the acquisition of state-of-the-art neurosurgical technology. The improved clinic and office space, which opened in 2006, fosters tremendous positive energy with patients and families as well as staff. The hospital's expanded staff is in a better position to serve families with dignity and confidentiality with the new configuration and calm and comforting environment.
Neurosurgical Equipment Purchase
The foundation purchased over $1 million in neurosurgical equipment in 2006. The new technology allows surgeons to provide patients with the least invasive procedures possible, often improving patient outcomes and almost always reducing recovery times and the risk of complications. Through the foundation's support, the Neurosurgery Department obtained some of the most leading-edge neurosurgical technology available today and on an expedited timeline that permitted the hospital to begin immediately utilizing this highly-sophisticated equipment to the benefit of patients.
Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Operating Suite
In 2008, the Foundation continued its effort to complete their $5 million pledge to establish The Michael Neely Center for Brain Tumor Care and Research and continue to make significant contributions to Tufts Medical Center's Neurosurgery Department, they opened this dedicated Neurosurgical Operating Room. This state-of-the-art operating room contains leading-edge neurosurgical operating equipment and technologies, including top resolution monitors suspended from ceiling tracks that adjust to the perfect placement for neurosurgeons working on highly exacting surgeries. The monitors show large images of the brain structure and the tumor or other injury, as well as MRI surgical mapping to ensure accurate incisions and minimal operating disturbance. The suspension systems also allows sufficient operating room space for high intensity microscopes to be brought into the room during surgery, maximizing surgical resources and patient outcomes.
For brain tumor patients, as for other neurosurgical patients, minimally invasive techniques can dramatically minimize the effects of surgery. Benefits include a smaller incision - in brain tumor patients, for example, a small incision is made right at the site of the tumor - less anesthesia, a significant decrease in pain, and a shortened length of recovery.
The Michael Neely Neuroscience Center
The final phase of The Michael Neely Center for Brain Tumor Care and Research is The Michael Neely Neuroscience Center. The Center was opened in April of 2011. This all new, state-of-the-art, 15 bed unit has eight critical care patient rooms with a mini nurse's station at the entrance to each room and seven step-down rooms. The Center also has two full sized nurse's stations and two family waiting areas that are close to the unit, but away from the bustle to provide some respite. There is also an area within each room for family to visit and room for overnight stays in the step-down rooms. The Center has floor to ceiling windows on all sides which provides patients and families with plenty of natural light.
The Neely Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic
The Cam Neely Foundation renovated The Neely Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic in 2010 and is located inside the walls of Tufts Medical Center's Floating Hospital for Children.
The Neely Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Clinic provides comprehensive outpatient consultative, therapeutic and support services for pediatric cancer and hematology patients and their families in a state-of-the-art, family-friendly environment. In the same spirit of design used for The Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, the overall feel of the clinic is one of warmth and support with youthful touches.
The Clinic features a tree house concept in its play and waiting areas and throughout the clinic utilizing bright colors and an overall design that transforms the clinic into a place of comfort and serenity that is appealing both to young patients and to families dealing with the stresses of childhood cancer. This space also includes a brightly colored play room with video games and toys for the children to enjoy, which was funded in conjunction with Companions in Courage. In receiving feedback from families and staff on their experiences in the pediatric clinics, it is very clear what a positive impact a bright, family-friendly environment can make in the lives of families dealing with serious illnesses. Since pediatric cancer patients spend many hours in the outpatient clinics receiving chemotherapy and other treatments, it is of paramount importance to extend the same type of home-away-from-home experience to the outpatient setting that our inpatient spaces offer.
The Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
Bone marrow transplantation is one of the most intense and potentially risky medical procedures that a child with cancer can experience. For a young patient undergoing a bone marrow transplant, it is likely to be his or her final chance for a cure. Adding to the intensity of the procedure itself is the fact that a bone marrow transplant can be for the child a very lonely and physically and emotionally painful experience. Due to the suppression of his or her immune system, the patient needs to be isolated from the germs that others, including caregivers and family members, may bring into the transplant unit. In traditional bone marrow transplant units, a patient's contact with others must be kept to a minimum; even a parent must put on protective clothing before seeing his or her child...but not in our spaces.
The Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, opened in 2008, is the first pediatric bone marrow transplant unit in Boston that breaks down these barriers to human contact, contact that all children, and most especially children undergoing a bone marrow transplant, so desperately need. The Floating Hospital's Cancer Center sees thousands of children with cancer each year, many of whom require a bone marrow transplant as their life-saving therapy.
Through the design of an environment that is germ-free (through a complex air filtration system), the new unit allows young patients and their families to live together during transplant in a setting that is both home-like and medically state-of-the-art. This transplant home-away-from-home includes, right within the unit, a family house (modeled after The Neely House at Tufts Medical Center) where parents can live throughout the entire transplant experience in private apartments and common areas that include a kitchen, living room and laundry facilities. If a parent prefers to sleep right in the patient room with the child, there is a comfortable pull-down bed next to the child's bed. Our focus is families and comfort and this space combines those in a special and one-of-its-kind way.
The Neely Cell Therapy and Collection Center
The Neely Cell Therapy and Collection Center is a $2 million-dollar space that we built in 2004.Â Located in the South Building of Tufts Medical Center, this completely renovated, 4,000 square foot center is designed to provide necessary stem cell collection services to outpatients in a warm and comfortable setting. With specially chosen furnishings, warm color palette, hardwood floors, large windows on the north, south and east sides, state-of-the-art flat screen television and DVD player. The entire layout of this space on the top floor was planned to provide the utmost comfort to patients and families undergoing their treatments.
The process of collecting donor stem cells to give to another person or to oneself has been performed in various locations throughout Tufts Medical Center over the years. Cancer and leukemia patients or related or unrelated transplant donors often spend several hours in one sitting having their stem cells extracted in order for laboratory technicians to process them for infusion back into the patient. In keeping with the Foundation's mission of providing comfort to cancer patients and their families, improving the physical environment for these patients or their donors was a priority as stem cell transplantation affects so many patients seen at Tufts Medical Center's Cancer Center.