The Devices Will Be Utilized by Patients Undergoing Treatment at the Center for Cancer Care
On March 8, 2021, the medical staff at Richmond University Medical Center’s Center for Cancer Care gratefully accepted over 20 new iPads and laptop computers, donated by Talia Bieler, a student at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn. The devices will be used by patients undergoing treatment to connect with loved ones. They will also be used as a source of entertainment for pediatric cancer patients during what can be lengthy therapy sessions.
A year ago, when COVID-19 first emerged, extensive protocols and procedures were developed at the center to protect the health of patients coming for treatment which could not be delayed despite the pandemic. Thanks to these CDC-compliant protocols, the center has never had to close its doors, remaining open throughout the pandemic and providing full services. Among the safety protocols that were implemented, visitors and support persons are unable to accompany patients inside the center while they undergo treatment unless there is a physical disability or language barrier.
“A critical part of the continuum of care for any patient is support from family and friends,” president and chief executive officer, Daniel J. Messina, PhD, FACHE, said. “While this new policy was necessary, it was also one that concerned us. So it was very important to us that we explore innovative ways to ensure our patients remain connected with their loved ones while inside the center undergoing treatment. This is where Talia and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society came in.”
The collection and donation of devices is the result a project developed by Bieler, a member of the Student Leadership Council for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Bieler was inspired to collect and donate the devices after watching news coverage of the pandemic and after watching members of her own family undergo treatment for cancer. She thought about how much harder it must be for cancer patients now because of COVID-19 safety protocols which prevent them from having someone to talk with or pre-occupy them during treatments. She was also deeply moved by images on television of a man holding up a sign outside a cancer center where his wife was undergoing treatment. Protocols prevented him from accompanying her inside.
“I am so grateful to deliver these devices because a lot of attention has been given to the health risks of COVID-19 for cancer patients, but not as much focus on the mental health and emotional side that is still just as important,” Bieler said.
A resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, Bieler made the delivery alongside her parents Warren and Ilene. The Ipads and laptops were donated from companies, corporations, family and friends after Bieler reached out to let them know about her project. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society then connected her with RUMC.
“Thank you to Talia and her family for their generosity and for thinking of our patients and their families,” Messina said. “Your thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated and will make a tremendous difference in the care of our patients.”
RUMC’s Center for Cancer Care, located at 1000 South Avenue, opened in June of 2018. This year is RUMC’s 83rd consecutive year of accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer, making it the longest continually accredited cancer care institution on Staten Island.
“It goes without saying that cancer takes a tremendous emotional toll, not just on the patient but their loved ones as well,” chief administrative officer and president of the Richmond Health Network, Richard Salhany, said. “Thankfully, the compassionate medical staff at the center provide person centered consultation and treatments that best suit the patient’s needs. Our board certified oncologists, hematologists, and radiologists have the weapons to win the war on cancer and we are making a difference in the lives of our patients every day.”
Richmond University Medical Center is a not-for-profit healthcare provider serving the ethnically diverse community of Staten Island and its neighbors. The medical center provides premier-quality patient care through a full spectrum of emergent, acute, primary, behavioral health and educational services. RUMC does this in an environment that promotes the highest satisfaction among patients, families, physicians and staff. For more information call 1-718-818-1234 or visit www.rumcsi.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.