By Amanda Sangster - June 21, 2021
The Morsani Patient and Family Center at Moffitt Cancer Center’s McKinley Campus celebrated its grand reopening last week with a small ribbon cutting ceremony. An idea born from the Patient and Family Advisory Program, the Patient and Family Center was created to serve as a reliable and reputable informational hub for patients and caregivers who may have questions about cancer or their care.
To keep Moffitt a safe space for its most immunocompromised patients, the center closed at the beginning of the pandemic and many of its services transitioned to virtual formats. With the number of COVID cases decreasing and vaccines readily available in the community, the center has reopened with a new look and updated furnishings to offer their services.
Shani Parkin, Moffitt patient and co-chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, had the honor of cutting the ribbon at the grand reopening. "The pandemic was tough on patients over the last year so I was thrilled to be a part of the long awaited opening of the Morsani Patient & Family Center," she said.
Since its founding, patients have been at the center of its mission. The welcome center provides vital resources for both patients and caregivers. Located on the first floor of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center next to the Publix Pharmacy, it provides visitors a comfortable, stress-free atmosphere to unwind. It’s also staffed with patient and family specialists who share the vast support services offered by Moffitt like support groups, available coping materials and services like yoga and meditation.
“Patients come to us for information on various cancer topics, but usually leave with a sense of reassurance,” said Patient Library Coordinator Marjorie Cortes-Alvarado. “We frequently let patients and caregivers know that Moffitt has a culture of patient- and family-centered care. It gives us the opportunity to tell them about our support services and let them know that they’re in the right place and, most importantly, that they’re in good hands.”
For many patients who travel from afar to visit Moffitt, the center can serve as a quiet, resting area between appointments where they can burn time while doing a variety of activities. Patients have access to reading materials on various cancer topics, computer stations with free wireless internet access, complimentary snacks, as well as a library of free and donated books.
Arts in Medicine services are also available to encourage and guide creative expression during stressful times. An artist-in-residence is always available to assist patients with therapeutic projects.
The Patient and Family Center also provides on-demand Patient and Family Orientation where patients and caregivers can learn more about the services offered by Moffitt, receive guidance on navigating its many campuses, and training on the Patient Portal.
The Morsani Patient and Family Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All visitors to Moffitt are welcome to visit the center and explore. Materials are offered in English and Spanish with additional translation services available upon request.