St. John’s Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center

It’s a big deal that’s about to get better for families in the Ozarks. On Saturday, St. John’s Hospital announced its children’s hospital will become a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital affiliate.

For families in the Ozarks, this means:
– As an affiliate, many treatments that are administered at St. Jude will be administered at St. John’s, meaning families won’t have to be away from home for weeks, months or years.
– For St. Jude patients treated at St. John’s, their family will not pay for any treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance will not have to pay.

For other pediatric cancer patients who are not St. Jude patients, the hospital will work with their family concerning payments, said Mike Peters, president of St. John’s Foundation for Community Health. “We provide a lot of charity care based on a family’s ability to pay,” Peters said.

Other major announcements Saturday:
– St. John’s Auxiliary has pledged $1 million, over the next four years, to help fund the children’s hospital and other projects.
– St. John’s is expanding its children’s hospital services and hiring the region’s first pediatric hematology/oncology physician.

To make this possible, the Brad Pitt family, Doug and Lisa Pitt and Rob and Julie Neal donated $1 million to establish an endowment fund from which cancer specialists will be paid. In honor of their mother, the center will be renamed St. John’s Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center.

When Mike Peters announced the new name Saturday at a dinner, Jane Pitt wiped away tears. Doug Pitt patted his mother on the arm before getting up to make a speech on his family’s behalf. Pitt referred to his mom as the “pretty one” in the back. “My mom is everything good,” Pitt said. Read more/video. Thanks Gabriella.

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