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Pediatric Spirituality Center Opens at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Pediatric Spirituality Center Opens at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
M. D. Anderson News Release 10/05/00

Thursday, Oct 12, 2000
12 Noon
Pedi Dome
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd.

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center will dedicate a Pediatric Spirituality Center (PSC) to better serve the needs of young patients and their families.

Beginning next week, families will be able to attend interfaith prayer services every Tuesday morning in the Pedi Dome located on the ninth floor of the Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Part of the dome will be transformed into a spiritual center each week to allow for the one-hour service.

"We want to create a space where people can come together regardless of faith and find commonality in the spirituality we share," says Rev. Doug Cobb, an M. D. Anderson chaplain who spearheaded the PSC project.  "We feel there is healing in prayer, and we want to bring this opportunity to the families and patients on the pediatric floor."

The Freeman-Dunn Chapel currently serves as M. D. Anderson's spirituality center, but the chapel is located on the first floor.

"Many of our parents are not willing to leave their children upstairs alone to attend service," says Rev. Jose Cedillo of M. D. Anderson.  "It's hard to coordinate services because parents don't always know when their children will need them most, plus many of our pediatric patients are unable to leave the ninth floor."

For now the center will be temporary, but there are long term plans for a permanent facility, says Cobb.  The temporary structure has a stained glass window  designed by pediatric art teacher Janet Ruffin, which serves as the backdrop for the lectern.  On each side of the lectern, two decorative banners will hang next to Screenflex walls creating a spiritual, light-filled space.  Other portable, six-foot walls will be used to provide a division between the Pedi Dome and the Pediatric Spirituality Center.

Funds for the center were donated in great part by the Partners Allied with the Chaplaincy's Ecumenical Ministry (PACEM).  PACEM is a fundraising group that assists the Department of Chaplaincy at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

10/05/00


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