Lozick Cancer Center Opens at Hillcrest

Lozick Cancer Center Opens at Hillcrest

Cleveland Clinic Hillcrest Hospital hosted a ribbon cutting for the new Lozick Cancer Pavilion on June 5, marking the opening of a new 10,600-square-foot addition to the hospital’s existing cancer center. A significant donation from The Lozick Family Foundation funded the construction that incorporates a healing environment centered on the patient experience.

Patient and caregiver feedback was instrumental during the building’s design phase. The new innovative physical spaces are patient-friendly and tailored to the specific needs of cancer patients. Design features include abundant natural light, views of green space, natural design elements and specially selected artwork. To help improve access to the cancer center, the expansion includes a new covered entrance leading to a central patient check-in, as well as dedicated valet parking and convenient patient drop-off.

Donor support also provides patient navigators to help guide each patient throughout their cancer care journey. The second floor includes dedicated music and art therapy rooms for patients, along with other support services.

Along with the new construction, the existing space underwent interior renovations. A direct connection between the building’s lower-level radiation therapy services and the second-floor oncology spaces was also created.

“The Lozick Cancer Pavilion is transformative in many ways,” says Richard Parker, MD, president of Hillcrest Hospital. “This expansion is solely focused on the patient, improving access and patient experience. Providing world-class care to our patients, and in turn our community, is a commitment we proudly make today and for the future.”

“Through the years, Cathey Lozick and the Lozick Family have supported many important projects across Cleveland Clinic, spanning heart disease, eye care, diabetes and stroke research here in Ohio and in Florida,” says Tom Mihaljevic, MD, Cleveland Clinic CEO and President, and holder of the Morton L. Mandel CEO Chair. “The Lozick Cancer Pavilion is the latest shining example of their compassion, generosity and vision. Through compassionate care and pioneering research, our goal – always – is to help patients emerge healthier and stronger. And we could not succeed without the support of caring, generous donors.”

Child Wandering Safety Kits Provide Peace of Mind

Child Wandering Safety Kits Provide Peace of Mind

By Maddie Daniel

“A mom shared with me that she’s terrified because her 4-year-old son with autism has begun to wander,” says Carrie Ludenberger, an occupational therapist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation for more than 19 years. “I could see the fear in her eyes and hear it in her voice. Her son is often fixated about playing outside and has wandered from the home into the backyard several times without her knowledge. If he were to turn the wrong way outside, she fears he would attempt to cross the busy street to explore a fountain in his neighbor's yard.”

Carrie works with children who are at risk for wandering, including children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Wandering occurs when a child leaves a safe, supervised space and typically happens in homes, outdoor areas, stores and classrooms. Many children with ASD who wander cannot communicate their name, phone number or address.

“Research shows 49% of children diagnosed with ASD are at risk for wandering but only 1 in 3 parents or caregivers receive education on wandering safety,” says Carrie. “Wandering is identified as one of the most stressful parts of parenting for these families.”

Carrie and her co-worker Megan Blake, also an occupational therapist, realized the need for a resource that could be integrated into the everyday lives of children with ASD and their families. With their idea of creating a Wandering Safety Kit for parents and caregivers – a backpack filled with alarms for doors and windows, online ordering of prepaid ID tags worn on stretch wristbands or shoelaces, laminated stop signs that serve as a visual cue and educational information about wandering – they hoped patients and their families would feel safe, supported and empowered.

Cleveland Clinic’s Catalyst Grant Program

To bring the idea to fruition, Carrie applied for a Cleveland Clinic Catalyst Grant. Catalyst Grants are 100% funded by donations to Cleveland Clinic. Every dollar of every contribution has an immediate impact by funding projects that help caregivers develop medical breakthroughs, enhance patient services and build community wellness programs. Since the program’s launch in 2018, more than $14 million has been awarded, funding over 300 innovative caregiver ideas.

The process to be considered for a Catalyst Grant is simple. Twice a year, Cleveland Clinic caregivers from across the country are encouraged to apply for a Catalyst Grant, which are funded up to $100,000. Caregivers may be surgeons, social workers, nurses, administrators or any employee with a great idea.

Through a competitive process, these one-time grants are awarded to applicants whose proposals show the most promise for making an impact within one year. Caregivers must report on their progress and return any unused funds. The grants reflect Cleveland Clinic’s spirit of diversity and inclusivity, and the number of grants awarded is limited only by the amount of funding available.

Providing Support and Resources

Carrie and Megan’s idea was awarded a Catalyst Grant in January 2023. Within six months, the team had gathered materials for the Wandering Safety Kits and provided them to over 100 students and families at the Lerner School for Autism as well as families who have children with ASD in the community. Not only do the kits provide essential safety measures for children with ASD, but they also offer relief to parents and caregivers.

Carrie reports that more than 700 kits were created and distributed. She and Megan provided training sessions to other caregivers about wandering, highlighting patient safety, prevention, resources and how the Wandering Safety Kit is used. They also made an instructional video that teaches parents of children at The Lerner School for Autism how to use the kit.

Participating families were asked to fill out surveys about their quality of life before and after receiving the Wandering Safety Kits. Over 50% of the families that received the kit and were educated on its use have seen an improvement in quality of life, says Carrie.

Impacting the Caregiver, Too

Carrie says Cleveland Clinic caregivers see and hear the daily highs and lows of their patients and their families. “We celebrate in their success and achievements; we comfort them and grieve with them during their struggles and losses. Throughout it all, we care for them, we care about them. We chose our professions because to our core, we are caregivers.”

As a Catalyst Grant recipient, Carrie feels tremendously grateful. “To anyone who has been a donor or is thinking of becoming a donor, I would say thank you for supporting us as caregivers so we can support our patients. Identifying a need and being able to access the resources to meet the need was a such a rewarding experience,” she explains.

It was also empowering. Carrie says that because Cleveland Clinic is such a large entity, it’s easy to think that someone’s thoughts and ideas may not matter or may not ‘move the needle.’ “However, what I have learned is that I can move the needle; and I was able to do so because of this grant.”

Giving Back to a Much-Loved Hospital and Community

Giving Back to a Much-Loved Hospital and Community

Dace B. and William King Stubbs, MD, are longtime passionate supporters of Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, becoming members of Cleveland Clinic’s 1921 Society in 2020.

Married for almost 30 years, the Stubbs feel fortunate to have found each other and to be part of the community of Vero Beach, Florida. “We met down here and that’s been the best thing that’s happened to us,” said Dace. “I grew up in Kentucky and King grew up in Louisiana, and when our Southern spirits met, it was … perfect.” Each has a son and daughter and they have nine grandchildren between them.

King joined the medical staff of Indian River Hospital in 1974. The otolaryngologist (ears, nose and throat specialist) and surgeon retired just prior to Indian River becoming part of the Cleveland Clinic health system in 2019. “I had a very good practice and fulfilling career here,” he offered, noting how happy he is to be living in the same community in his retirement.

“We were very supportive of Cleveland Clinic taking over the management of our community hospital because the need was clearly there,” King said. “And we have remained supportive and appreciative of the expertise and management. We really want the hospital to be as good as it can be.”

“We love being a part of Vero Beach,” Dace added. “There is so much energy from caring people who only want to further strengthen this place we call home.” The couple has shown their support to the community in many ways. In addition to their tremendous support of Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital, they most notably are founders of the Indian River Community Foundation. They have helped the foundation flourish over the years and make their philanthropic gifts (focusing on education, land conservation and healthcare) through a charitable fund they established there.

Dace, who has been involved in philanthropy and volunteerism for as long as she can remember, credits her family for exposing her to charitable work and to the family business at a young age. Her grandfather was a founder of Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown-Forman Corporation, a leading manufacturer of premium distilled spirits with iconic brands, including Jack Daniel’s.

Dace and King met through a friend when Dace moved to Vero Beach in 1983. The couple quickly learned that they shared many interests, including fishing, gardening, painting and spending time outdoors. Over the years, they’ve enjoyed extensive international travel, including memorable trips to Argentina, New Zealand, Africa and India. Recently, the couple joined a group of donors, friends and staff on a trip to visit Cleveland Clinic campuses in London and Abu Dhabi.

“We were lucky enough to see a lot of the international operation and meet many of the players who made it all happen,” said Dace. “It was wonderful. We were exposed to the cutting-edge medical advancements that are going on over there and it was terrific. We met a lot of interesting people who share our interest in Cleveland Clinic.”

For Dace and King, philanthropy is especially important and another activity they enjoy doing together. “Giving forward” while they’re in a position to observe investment outcomes is more appealing to them than estate giving. “King and I came to the conclusion that instead of leaving money in our will, we want to give it while we can see it in action. And I think that’s really encouraged us to make gifts to our community that will make a difference.”

The couple has given generously and in many ways to Indian River Hospital but has focused on women’s health and cancer. “We both have experienced cancer in our families and realized how important the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center is. Then, it came to our attention that the Women’s Health Unit needed to be dramatically upgraded, which was very interesting to us.”

“With the Cancer Center, I just know as a physician, but also as a person of a certain age and life experience, that people want and should be treated locally,” said King. “It is a huge benefit to not only the patient, but the family. And so we really wanted to build up the cancer offering so we could administer the chemo and do some sophisticated surgery in our town. And that is a huge boon to the patient and the family whose lives would otherwise be disrupted to have to travel someplace. We just think that is good for everybody to have that expertise locally.”

Dace and King are especially gratified to have provided the lead gift for a $13 million campaign focused on women’s health, which will enhance the labor and delivery, postpartum/surgical care, nursery and procedural and testing areas. Reconfigured spaces will support evidence-based, family-focused models of care for mothers and babies, pregnant emergency patients, and gynecological surgery patients. The modernized space will ensure privacy and accommodate technological advancements and certain procedures, such as diagnostic laparoscopy, pelvic surgeries (hysterectomy and myomectomy) and robotically assisted procedures that allow for quicker recovery.

King pointed out that Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital has many strengths: “We have a really good heart program … an excellent gastro program.… This is a growing, very attractive community…. We think it’s in the interest of the community to have a hospital we can all be proud of and where people can get whatever they need. We feel fortunate that we’re able to contribute.”

“As donors, we get to feel a part of something truly special,” Dace agreed. “I think people need to really think about giving if they can, whether it’s a hundred dollars or a hundred thousand dollars…. I think a gift of time is as important as a gift of dollars. We have an amazing community. We all need to be a part of the hospital and support it. It is the most important institution in our town.”

Breathing Easier: Grateful Couple Supports ILD Research

Breathing Easier: Grateful Couple Supports ILD Research

Jean Soman has a new lease on life. After receiving lifesaving care from David Zisman, MD, FCPP, Director of the Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) program at Cleveland Clinic Florida, she is now in remission and filled with gratitude.

Jean began experiencing breathing problems in the winter of 2023, shortly after having COVID-19. For months, she needed supplemental oxygen around the clock and used a wheelchair and a walker.

She visited two other pulmonologists in Florida before coming to see Dr. Zisman at Cleveland Clinic Weston Hospital in May 2023. He accurately diagnosed Jean with severe COVID-19 pneumonitis and underlying pulmonary fibrosis. After a few months on two prescribed medications, her breathing slowly started to improve.

Excellent Care Provides Hope

Now, almost a year after starting the medications, she is in complete remission and only occasionally needs supplemental oxygen.

“I will be forever grateful to my brilliant and compassionate pulmonologist and friend, Dr. Zisman, for his expertise and excellent care,” says Jean.

In appreciation for the exceptional care provided by Dr. Zisman and the pulmonary department, Jean and her husband Bill have made a generous gift in honor of Dr. Zisman to support his ILD research.

“We are committed to helping those living with the devastating effects of ILD,” says Jean. “We hope that Dr. Zisman’s research will lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of ILD and improve the quality of life for those affected.”

Advancing Research

Cleveland Clinic Weston treats some of the most severe cases of ILD, a prevalent condition in Florida that many hospitals are not equipped to handle.

ILD is a term for a group of over 200 conditions that cause inflammation and scarring in the lungs. ILD damages the tissues between the small air sacs in the lungs (alveoli) and the blood vessels around them, making it harder to move oxygen out of the lungs and into the body.

Common symptom of interstitial lung disease include shortness of breath (dyspnea) that gets worse with exercise or exertion, dry cough, fatigue and chest discomfort. Symptoms are usually mild at first but get worse over months or years. Patients may have additional symptoms depending on the underlying cause of ILD.

“The Soman’s donation will fund a dedicated research fellow for Weston Hospital’s ILD program, enabling us to advance several investigator-initiated research projects,” says Dr. Zisman. “This research will explore novel drug therapies for pulmonary fibrosis and other innovative investigations in ILD, enhancing our understanding of these diseases.”