Amount: 137 589 euros
Implementing period: March 2013 – February 2014
Main partner: Brise Group
Grand Prize – Civil Society Gala, XVth edition, June 12th 2017
Ist Prize, Health category – Civil Society Gala, XVth edition, June 12th 2017;
Originality Prize – Civil Society Gala, XVth edition, June 12th 2017
- All children with cancer and other rare diseases in the South-East Region of Romania (over 500 to date) are benefiting from healthcare at the highest clinical standards, by specialized and continuously trained staff, in a dedicated facility designed to suit their needs at the Constanta County Hospital.
- Increased access to early diagnosis and oncology services for children in the region resulting in higher chances for survival and a better quality of life.
- Increased quality of medical care and mental comfort, as well as comprehensive coverage (medical, psychological, social) of the needs of the sick children and their families.
Inaugurated in February 2014 and suggestively named Focus Medical Center, the pediatric onco-hematology and rheumatology department at Constanta County Hospital is the only one in the South- Eastern Region of Romania (Dobrogea) specialized in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of children with cancer, as well as in supporting their families.
Why was such a project needed?
Dobrogea is one of the regions with the highest number of children diagnosed with cancer as per the total number of children. However, until 2014, there was no clinical department in the region specialized in providing specific care to children with cancer and their long-term monitoring.
Children with oncological diseases were cared for in the Pediatrics department, located on the 8th floor of the hospital, with 50-year-old functionalities, without distinct patient flow arrangements, which forced them to follow the same routes with patients of all ages and all pathologies. The small number of beds (only 75 for all children and all pediatric diseases in the county) resulted in the department being permanently overcrowded, reaching total suffocation during the summer with the additional influx of patients from tourists coming to the seaside on vacation.
Children with cancer after chemotherapy and those with other serious conditions whose treatment causes a decrease in immunity were treated in the same premises as those with viral conditions, which put their lives in danger. In fact, during quarantine periods, access of children with cancer was virtually impossible.
Last but not least, the facility lacked both the equipment and the specific expertise among the staff, that are so important in pediatric oncology.
Most of the times, the families were forced to go to Bucharest for specialized treatments and monitoring, the trip and the related expenses affecting both the child and the whole family.
What we did
- We built an ambulatory pediatric oncology, hematology and rheumatology department – the only one in the country – a model designed together with Dr. Adriana Apostol, a pediatrician who specialized in pediatric onco-hematology and inspired by Western European reference centers. This model of organizing pediatric oncology services ensures the efficiency of the medical activity and increases the comfort of children and their families.
- The facility we built serves children diagnosed with onco-hematological and rheumatological diseases in Constanța County, as well as from Tulcea, Galați, Brăila and Călărași counties.
- We have created a modern structure on the ground floor of the Hospital where children benefit from separate circulation areas and dedicated specialized medical staff. All the procedures are performed in the center premises, thus reducing the risk of children contracting other diseases from hospital patients.
- We have built a dedicated space that includes: medical offices (oncologist, psychologist and rheumatologist), specimen collection room, nurses’ room, treatment rooms, lecture hall, playground, reception and waiting room.
- As a natural extension of the services offered within the Center, since 2018 we have developed a home care program for children in Dobrogea diagnosed with serious chronic diseases (onco-hematological or other rare diseases) through which we ensure continuity in monitoring and support beyond the premises of the hospital, in the communities where these children live. Today, the coronavirus pandemic has made this model a necessity stated by all national and international authorities in the field, which in unison recommend the development of alternatives to conventional hospitalization to reduce the exposure of immune-compromised children to the risk of COVID infection.
- Modern diagnostic examination and work-up for children with onco-hematological, rheumatological and other rare diseases
- Day –Hospital treatments and procedures, coordination of multi-disciplinary and / or multi-center / cross-border assistance where appropriate
- “One-stop-shop” services – scheduling and providing all the necessary procedures and work-up for a patient during a single visit, in order to maximize the efficiency of the patient’s time spent in the center with reduced travel and of the risks travel involves.
- Post-therapeutic monitoring and counseling until the age of 18, guidance and support for medical-social, rehabilitation services and social (re) insertion
- Playground for children, as well as emotional support, information and psychological counseling for the family.
- Organization of events for sick children and their families.
- Organization of medical meetings, courses and conferences for doctors and nurses with specialists from the country and abroad.