On January 31, 2007, the St. Jude Clinic at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children opened in Huntsville, AL. It provides medical care for patients up to 18 years old with blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, platelet disorders and hemophilia, and for patients with cancer up to 21 years old.. The clinic is one of five operated by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a Memphis-based pediatric research and treatment facility specializing in cancer and other ‘catastrophic “ diseases.
The new clinic will perform preliminary tests and diagnose numerous conditions. More seriously ill patients will then be sent to St. Jude in Memphis for further tests or for their first treatment. Once a treatment regimen has been established, Huntsville can provide the necessary follow-up therapy. “We’re hoping we can provide the majority of the care here,” said Lucille Ferrante, MD, medical director of the clinic.
The location of the clinic was chosen, in part, to reach patients in the underserved region of northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. Before it opened, area patients traveled long distances for medical care at hospitals in Birmingham, Memphis and Nashville.
Since pediatric patients with cancer and blood disorders often require frequent monitoring and treatments, the St. Jude expansion will create improved access to medical care for many children.
“We would like them to stay in their home community,” said Cindy Burleson, nursing director of the domestic affiliate program at St. Jude. “It’s not only important for the patient but for the families.”
Source: The Birmingham News, February 12, 2007