TUCCA Announces Construction of the First Pediatric Hospice in Brazil

The Brazilian Association for Children and Adolescents with Cancer (TUCCA) is pleased to announce that it will build the first hospice specifically dedicated to children and adolescents with terminally cancer in Brazil. Construction will begin in 2012 and the hospice will be located in East São Paulo, which is one of the most densely populated and poorest areas of the city. TUCCA’s goal is to provide terminally ill children and adolescents who do not have the social and medical means to be treated at home with a place where they can receive the necessary attention, comfort and assistance that they and their families need. A multi-disciplinary approach will be used to provide comprehensive care that integrates both medical and psychosocial aspects of end-of-life care.

TUCCA was inspired to undertake the construction of the first pediatric hospice in Brazil by successful multi-disciplinary cancer hospices in Europe. “An important feature of TUCCA’s Hospice will be to allow patients and their families to keep the same multi-disciplinary team that has accompanied them from the diagnosis through the treatment”, says Dr Sidnei Epelman, the President of both TUCCA and INCTR Brazil. Dr Epelman is also the Head of the Pediatric Oncology Hospital at the Santa Marcelina Hospital which has worked in partnership with TUCCA since 2001. Dr Epelman adds, “Our goal is thus to maintain the trust and special bond between the pediatric oncology staff, the patients and their families, providing them with all necessary “free of charge” medical, psychological support and infrastructure, which are important components of INCTR’s Palliative Care Program”.

Dr Claudia Epelman, Vice President and co-Founder of TUCCA is a psychologist and coordinator of the multidisciplinary team at the Pediatric Oncology Hospital Santa Marcelina. She also coordinates INCTR’s Psychosocial Program. Dr Epelman states that the crucial priorities of the hospice will be to provide quality of life, comfort, and dignity for the patients and their families. She will ensure that siblings of terminally ill children and adolescents, according to their degree of psychological development will be able to participate directly or indirectly in family time with hospice patients.

Developed by the architect Sandra Perito, Director and President of the Institute Acessivel Brasil, the hospice will be built 200 meters away from Santa Marcelina Hospital, in the neighborhood of Ithaca, São Paulo. The cost of construction is estimated to be one million Brazilian reals. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2012. The hospice will include three “suite” style rooms to allow children and adolescents to be with their parents. The hospice will also have other facilities and amenities for patients and their families.

For more information about TUCCA, please visit www.tucca.org.br.

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