Published on in CHOP News
March 18, 2013 — The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is proud to announce a $500,000 gift from the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Foundation. The donation will greatly enhance the GlaxoSmithKline Hope for Families Fund, an endowment fund which was established in 2008 with a $1 million gift from The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline, and matched by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This Fund provides vital assistance to financially eligible families that need assistance for travel and living expenses they may incur while their child is enrolled in investigational and/or novel treatments offered at the Cancer Center at Children’s Hospital.
“Financial burdens such as missed time from work, airfare and other expenses can really take a big toll on a family dealing with cancer,” said Paolo Paoletti, MD, president, GlaxoSmithKline Oncology. “Through the GSK Hope for Families Fund, our goal is to alleviate some of the financial burden so that families can focus on helping their child get well.”
The GlaxoSmithKline Hope for Families Fund is a permanent endowment that helps children and young adults with relapsed cancers gain access to innovative therapies at Children’s Hospital. Specifically, the Fund reimburses the families for expenses related to their travel and stay in Philadelphia, including airfare and ground transportation, lodging, and meals.
“The generosity of GlaxoSmithKline has relieved many boundaries to care and has allowed families to get the world’s best treatment for pediatric cancers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,” said Steven M. Altschuler, MD, chief executive officer of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “By growing the Fund, we will be able to help even more families access innovative treatments and the care offered here.”
Since July 1, 2008, the GSK Hope for Families Fund has assisted 94 families with travel and living expenses relating to assessment for and/or enrollment in clinical trials at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Cancer Center. Families have come from 20 U.S. states and six foreign countries. The youngest patient helped was 3 years old and the oldest was 27.
Worsening economy increases need for support for patients enrolled in clinical trials
Many families using the Fund are low-income or one-income families, and there has been increased usage of the Fund due to the worsening economy. Many parents do not get paid if they have to take days off while their child is receiving treatment for their cancer. This is an acute burden, as many of the patients enrolled in clinical trials are required to come to Children’s Hospital frequently, sometimes as often as weekly, over a long period of time.
Each year, more families need assistance, and this new gift from the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation will allow Children’s Hospital social workers to better meet the growing need. Additionally, the GSK Hope for Families Fund has supported qualifying international families.
Cancer Center is largest developmental therapeutics program in U.S., receives patient referrals from across the nation
The Cancer Center at Children’s Hospital has been ranked #1 in the country by U.S. News & World Report and Parents magazine. With the largest developmental therapeutics program in the United States, the Cancer Center and its Center for Childhood Cancer Research are beacons of hope for families around the globe, providing advanced treatments not found in most patients’ home healthcare institutions.
“Recently, our program has focused heavily on developing new drugs for childhood cancer, and the national referral-basis for these unique clinical trials led to the need for a program such as the Hope for Families Fund,” said John M. Maris, MD, director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Children’s Hospital. “Therefore with the help of the funds from the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, Children’s Hospital is moving one step closer to ensuring all children with cancer are provided the best possible care.”
Corporate philanthropy critical to providing best care
“Corporate philanthropy is critical to furthering our mission to provide the very best family-centered care possible,” Altschuler said. “We are extremely grateful to the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation for this remarkable donation.”
The Cancer Center at Children’s Hospital is a Phase I institution and leader within the Children’s Oncology Group. The Center strives to provide the most skilled, compassionate care available. State-of-the-art facilities enable it to offer comprehensive, family-centered care from 69 nationally and internationally renowned pediatric oncologists and specialists. Their combined expertise spans every major form of childhood cancer. Each year, the Cancer Center treats more than 500 new patients and follows nearly 5,000 patients, making the program one of the largest pediatric cancer programs in the world.
GSK has been a steadfast philanthropic partner to the community and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is grateful for the difference GSK’s support has made to our patients and families.
One of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, GSK is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information go to us.gsk.com, follow us on twitter.com/GSKUS or visit our blog: www.morethanmedicine.us.gsk.com/blog/.
The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, which was established in 1990, administers the employee matching gifts program for charitable organizations. It also has provided select endowment gifts to support the health and education needs at the local community level.
About The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Founded in 1855, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is the birthplace of pediatric medicine in America. Throughout its history, a passionate spirit of innovation has driven this renowned institution to pursue scientific discovery, establish the highest standards of patient care, train future leaders in pediatrics and advocate for children’s health. A haven of hope for children and families worldwide, CHOP is a nonprofit charitable organization that relies on the generous support of its donors to continue to set the global standard for pediatric care.