services and programs
Dayton Children’s department of hematology and oncology provides comprehensive services and programs to treat a wide variety of conditions and disorders. Learn more about each of our services and programs below.
cancer services and programs
Dayton-area families do not have to travel the world to receive world-class care for a child with cancer. They can find what they are looking for right here at Dayton Children’s.
Experienced pediatric hematologists/oncologists lead our multidisciplinary team, which includes nurses, a nurse practitioner, child life specialist and social worker. The team goes above and beyond every day to make sure that kids receive great care that is personalized to their unique needs.
- Maintains a survival rate of more than 80 percent for all childhood cancers combined —higher than the national average
- Follows nationally approved care protocols developed by the Children's Oncology Group—the most current, state-of-the-art cancer treatments available
- Is committed to continuous quality improvement: clinical teams meet regularly to find ways of improving treatment protocols, care coordination and support services
- Participates in extensive clinical research to improve care
- Is one of only 10 freestanding pediatric programs in the country approved by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. To earn this accreditation, a cancer program must meet or exceed in 34 categories of quality and patient-centered care
- Established one of the country’s first long-term follow-up programs for childhood cancer survivors
Commission on cancer accreditation
Dayton Children’s has been awarded a national re-accreditation with commendation to the cancer program by The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS).
More than 1,500 U.S. cancer programs are CoC accredited and the comprehensive cancer care program at Dayton Children's is one of only 10 freestanding pediatric institutions in the country to be accredited.
Tumors of the brain and spine are highly specialized and require a different approach to care. Dayton Children’s collaborates with the Children’s Oncology Group, an international organization that specializes in the treatment of children’s cancer. This partnership gives you access to the most up to date research and treatment plans while receiving care close to home.
Children who are diagnosed with these tumors are at higher risk for behavior changes, learning difficulties, fertility issues and/or endocrine changes as a result of the tumor and treatment. We know this is a very stressful time for your family. We are here to help you both during and after your treatment.
Treatment of these complex tumors requires many different doctors to monitor children very closely for all possible side effects.
Our doctors can make referrals to specialists who can help and most of these can be seen without ever leaving our hospital. Members of our team include:
- Hematologist/Oncologists:doctors who, if needed, will provide your child’s chemotherapy
- Neurosurgeons: a doctor who operates on the brain and spinal cord
- Endocrinologists: a doctor to treat growth and/or hormone problems from the tumor or treatment
- Neuro-psychology: a doctor who is able to do specialized testing with your child to see exactly what education needs may be helpful
- Rehabilitation: Including physical and occupational therapy to help rebuild and maintain strength
- Radiation/Oncology: some of these tumors will need radiation therapy. Your child can receive radiation close to home. We are able to help you with travel concerns.
- Genetics: Some people have family risk factors that make them more likely to develop certain types of cancer. We can meet your family to see if you are at higher risk.
- Psychology: Our psychology department can help you and your child cope with their diagnosis. They can help your child manage stress and evaluate any behavior problems.
- Social Work: Able to help with financial resources as well as meeting with school nurses and teachers to help create positive learning environments for each individual child.
- Dietian: Your child may have trouble eating during treatment. Our dietians can help during this time.
- Neurology: Some children will have seizures from their tumor. We can provide testing and medication to help manage those side effects at Dayton Children’s.
- Nurse coordinator: You will have one person who can coordinate your child’s care with all the doctors your child will need to see. They can also answer questions about treatment.
After your child finishes therapy, they will be seen in our comprehensive clinic. We know you are busy and we want to help make this transition as easy for you as possible. This clinic will allow your child to be seen by the same doctors but you can see them all in one place during the same appointment.
Although this will not include every type of tumor we treat, some of the most common include:
- And others
long term follow-up
Dayton Children’s was one of the first hospitals in the country to offer a long-term follow-up program for children who have survived pediatric cancer. This program is available to patients and their families from the time they complete therapy through adulthood. In the last eight years, the number of former cancer patients served by the program has more than doubled to nearly 250, a reflection of our high cure rates.
Patients start participating in the long-term follow-up program approximately five years after finishing therapy. We encourage them to continue coming for the rest of their lives, since some late effects of cancer treatment can show up well into adulthood. We welcome all pediatric cancer survivors, regardless of where they were treated for cancer.
Being told that your child has cancer is devastating to both the child and family. Often first thoughts are about treatment which may include surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Although it may not be your first thought, an important part of treatment includes fertility preservation. Preserving your child’s fertility provides hope for their future.It allows them to one day have the family they’ve always wanted. We understand fertility is very important for their quality of life in the years to come.
Even though the number of cancer cases grows each year, the number of survivors is also rising. There is a survival rate of over 80 percent in the pediatric and adolescent population.
At Dayton Children’s we understand how important it is not only to plan the best treatment options with the highest quality care for your child, but to also plan for their future. Dayton Children’s Oncology department has collaborated with Wright State Physicians and Dr. Steven Lindheim. Dr. Lindheim is able to provide reproductive and fertility options at Dayton Children’s. We also have resources to help with the costs of preservation procedures. Currently there are options in place for both male and females who have reached puberty. We are actively working to provide these services to younger children in the near future.
We are currently able to offer:
- Embryo cryopreservation
- Oocyte cryopreservation
- Lupron injections
- Sperm cryopreservation
If you have questions related to fertility, please call our fertility nurse coordinators: Jani Rice BSN, RN at 937-641-5062 or Kari Roberts BSN, RN at 937-641-4611.
blood disorders services and programs
Dayton Children’s provides exceptional care for children with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. Our pediatric hematologists/oncologists, nurses, social workers and other care professionals treat about 350 children each year, and provide strong support for families to help them manage their child’s condition at home.
One of the greatest strengths of our program is the personal relationships that develop between our team and the families we serve. We consider it a privilege to care for children for many years, watching them grow up and learn how to manage their condition effectively.
Some of the conditions we treat:
Dayton Children’s is the only facility in the Dayton area to provide comprehensive care for infants, children and teens with sickle cell disease, sickle cell trait, thalassemias and other hemoglobin variants. Our program is called the West Central Ohio Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, one of six that is funded by the Ohio Department of Health to provide care for children with sickle cell disease and support for their families.
The staff at the West Central Ohio Hemophilia Center, located at Dayton Children’s, provides comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary care, and case management services for over 600 patients with bleeding and clotting disorders. The core staff consists of a pediatric hematologist, coagulation resources nurses, social worker, physical therapist, genetic counselor, and data manager. Patients with the diagnosis of hemophilia or other bleeding and clotting disorders are managed using the comprehensive care model which comprises medical, psychological, and educational components.
stem cell transplant services and program
stem cell transplant
Some children with cancer or a blood disorder need a stem cell transplant, sometimes called a bone marrow transplant. This procedure involves injecting or infusing healthy stem cells from a donor.
What are stem cells? Stem cells produce the three main types of blood cells that are essential for life: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Stem cells mainly live in the bone marrow (the spongy center of certain bones). Stem cell transplants are used to replenish stem cells when the bone marrow has been destroyed by disease, chemotherapy or radiation.
Dayton Children’s does not perform stem cell transplants. Our role is to identify patients who need a transplant, perform pre-transplant testing for the child and stem cell donor, and provide post-transplant follow-up in our clinic. Families can have the stem cell transplant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center or Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Our team has excellent relationships with the stem cell transplant teams at these institutions, and makes sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Hospital stays can range from one to three months or even longer.
clinic research services and programs
Sixty years ago, children diagnosed with leukemia had only a slim chance of survival. Today, the survival rate for childhood leukemia is 96-98 percent. Forty years ago, the average lifespan for people with sickle cell disease was only 14 years. Today, life expectancy for these patients can reach 50 years and beyond. What accounts for these dramatic improvements? To a large extent, the answer is clinical research.
Clinical research studies, or “trials,” are designed to help scientists evaluate specific treatment plans. These trials are sponsored by different hospitals, companies and government agencies, and made available to patients who fit certain criteria. At Dayton Children’s, we strongly encourage families to consider participating in clinical research for childhood cancers and blood disorders. We know that the therapies children receive through these studies may benefit them today—and countless children in years to come.
When patients need to be hospitalized, they are admitted to the hematology/oncology unit on the hospital’s fourth floor. This unit provides specialized care for patients who are experiencing difficult-to-control pain, those who need a transfusion and those who are ill and need round-the-clock care.
Every day during “morning rounds,” one of our pediatric hematologists/oncologists will come to the patient’s room with resident physicians, the charge nurse, other nurses and a nurse practitioner. The team will go over any test results, talk about what will happen in the day ahead and answer any questions families may have.
During their hospital stay, patients receive comprehensive care from our doctors and nurses. They also may interact with a:
- Registered dietitian
- Social worker
- Child life specialist
Volunteers often come by to spend time with children and play games. Family members always are welcome to take a break in the family lounge, which features a large-screen television, kitchenette and comfortable chairs. All hospital guests can take advantage of the hospital’s free WIFI.
Discharge planning begins almost as soon as the child is admitted to the hospital. Our goal is to make sure families have everything they need when the child goes home, such as prescriptions, home care services and follow-up clinic appointments. If questions arise after the child is discharged, parents can call the clinic during regular hours. After hours, they can call the hospital operator and ask for the hematologist/oncologist on call.
care and comfort program
Children’s Home Care of Dayton Care and Comfort program offers palliative care services to children with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. The staff of Children’s Care and Comfort program understand the needs of children with life-threatening illness and the needs of their families. It is our goal to provide family-centered care that respects the dignity and uniqueness of every child and family.
Our comprehensive services make it possible for families to care for their seriously ill child at home. These include:
- Nurses with pediatric expertise on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Infusion therapies
- Pain management
- In-home blood transfusions
- Intensive family support
- Interdisciplinary team case management
- Coordinator and advocacy with community resources
- A family support specialist is available to provide individualized services including:
- Emotional support
- Parent education
- Sibling support
- Short-term family intervention
- Referrals and resources
- Bereavement support
Dayton Children's pain management program manages a child's pain during common medical procedures like IV insertions and blood draws, which are among the most frequently reported painful events in hospitalized children. No child should suffer when his or her pain can be decreased or relieved.