Pediatric proton therapy program wins top honor

Jon Graham, Ph.D., Kim Ely, CCLS, Heather Oakley, LCSW, OSW-C, Daniel Indelicato, M.D. and John Wingard, M.D. The University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute pediatric program earned the 2013 Top Team Effort Award given by the UF Shands Cancer Center at its annual Celebration of Excellence Awards event in Gainesville, Fla., on February 26.

 “Families are often displaced from familiar surroundings for six to eight weeks during the most stressful time of their lives. The team meets before the patient arrives to coordinate care and cover every aspect of anticipated need for each child and family,” one nominator wrote. The nominator wrote that “…the whole team — physicians, medical assistants, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, and transport driver — work as a unit to provide a nurturing and safe environment for children, to celebrate treatment milestones, and to provide emotional support for the children and their families.“

The UF Proton Therapy Institute treats on average 20 children each day, the most of any proton therapy center worldwide. 

The pediatric proton program is led by Danny Indelicato, M.D. and team members include Nancy Mendenhall, M.D., Julie Bradley, M.D., Brad Hoppe, M.D., Ronny Rotondo, M.D., Amy Sapp, Annie Rini, Erinn Parvin, Gina Newton, Kendra Alipio, Adrianne Mansen, Heather Oakley, Kim Ely, and Mitch Kubacki. The team was rewarded with individual plaques and funds for professional development and/or program support.

The Top Team Effort Award rewards workgroups for achieving challenging goals and making significant positive impact on organizational business, research and/or patient care objectives. Nominations for the award were submitted by cancer center members, and entries were voted on by a group of cancer center peers. The UF Proton Therapy Institute pediatric program was selected for the highest level of dedication and patient-focused mission in caring for pediatric patients.

“The pediatric team at UFPTI does more than treat the tumor. The cohesive team places continuous effort into bettering the life of the child with cancer,” the nominator said.

UF Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing cancer. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 110 patients a day. For more information about the UF Proton Therapy Institute, please visit, or call toll-free 877-686-6009.