TAMPA, Fla. — Janelle Barrera Ikan is one step closer to earning her Ph.D. in behavioral health and health education thanks to the Moffitt Healthy KIDZ Program. Volunteering with the program for nine years taught her about cancer prevention and healthy living — and paved the way for a career in health care. Today, she’s in a master’s program at the University of South Florida on her way to getting a doctorate. 

“Moffitt Healthy KIDZ has helped me set goals for myself, shape my career path and gives me the drive to motivate youth to make their health a priority,” Ikan says. 

Students from Sergeant Smith Middle School will join USF students pursuing health care careers for a special Moffitt Healthy KIDZ event April 13 at Port Tampa Bay. Moffitt Cancer Center’s Healthy KIDZ program offers innovative health education for students from elementary school to college, guided by the philosophy that prevention starts early. The program emphasizes the importance of healthy nutrition, exercise and the dangers of smoking. Students are also exposed to careers in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). 

Students will kick off the morning with an excursion on an educational harbor tour, explore The Florida Aquarium and learn more about STEAM careers at Splitsville. 

The lunchtime STEAM career presenters include B. Lee Green, Ph.D., and Heiko Enderling, Ph.D., of Moffitt; and John Thorington Jr., vice president of Government Affairs and Board Coordination, Chris Cooley, director of Environmental Affairs, and Paul Anderson, president and CEO, of Port Tampa Bay. 

“Port Tampa Bay is pleased to play an important part this year in the Healthy KIDZ program offered by Moffitt Cancer Center and I am proud to be personally involved with these young people. I am confident that this program will be very special and meaningful to them,” said Anderson. 

For more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Nikki Ross-Inda at Nikki.Inda@Moffitt.org or 813-745-6618. 

WHO: Moffitt Cancer Center and Port Tampa Bay

WHAT: Moffitt Healthy KIDZ Program featuring Sergeant Smith Middle and USF students


  • 9 a.m. – Students will meet in front of The Florida Aquarium
  • 9:15 a.m. – The group will board the eco-boat tour (media are invited to join)
  • 10:45 a.m. – The Florida Aquarium will speak to the youth and offer an animal encounter
  • 11:30 a.m. – Splitsville for STEAM presentations, bowling and lunch

WHERE: Port Tampa Bay, 1101 Channelside Drive, Tampa 

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 47 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 6 cancer hospital in the nation and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2.5 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,200 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube