Patients at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are the first in the country to receive new specially designed hoodies donated by Oscar de la Renta, LLC.
In place of a long zipper down the middle, these hoodies have two shorter diagonal zippers that make it easier for nurses to access chemotherapy chest ports, while helping patients stay warm. The chest access hoodie is a joint project by Care+Wear, a healthwear company, and Oscar de la Renta, the international fashion firm, in honor of the late designer who passed away from cancer in 2014.
The first recipients were patients in Sylvester’s bone marrow and adult stem cell transplant unit.
“One of the things we want to do is make patients feel as comfortable as possible,” said Kishna V. Komanduri, M.D., professor of medicine, and microbiology and immunology, and medical director of the Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program. “Putting them in these hoodies is something that’s great for their quality of life and their attitude while they’re here.”
A total of 500 hoodies in navy and pink were donated, bringing smiles to patients in the chemotherapy treatment area. Althea Chung tried on a pink one, as she was leaving.
“This will be awesome. I’m sure the patients will enjoy it. I know I will,” she said.
Staff at Sylvester, including Director of Clinical Operations for the Office of the Director at Sylvester, Jessica MacIntyre, M.S.N., ARNP, provided critical input on the design and was in charge of distributing the hoodies to patients,
“It was a memorable experience to see how happy, amazed, and grateful patients were when receiving the hoodie. It truly made their day,” she said.
“This innovative apparel will improve the experience of patients who, unfortunately, have to spend considerable amounts of time receiving treatment,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D.
Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta said his company is pleased to offer a solution for patients with port access needs.
“In particular, helping the patient community of Sylvester means a great deal to us, as Dr. Nimer has been such a great friend to our family,” he said. “Oscar would have been proud to use fashion to enhance the lives of patients facing cancer treatment.”
Patients at the chemotherapy treatment units at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center and Sylvester at Plantation will receive donated hoodies in June.