UF Health Jacksonville receives grant from national organization to provide comfort to cancer patients

Published: February 5, 2014
Sarah M. Osian, Ph.D.

UF Health Jacksonville and the national organization Angie’s Spa Cancer Foundation are teaming up to provide comfort to cancer patients and to document the effectiveness of the initiative during the program.

Angie’s Spa is a charitable cancer foundation founded in memory of Angie Levy that funds hospital programs across the country with the express purpose of providing free therapeutic spa services to cancer patients. These spa services are designed to alleviate painful side effects from cancer treatment, providing relaxation while also giving patients a self-esteem boost.

UF Health Jacksonville recently received a $23,000 grant from the organization to use in providing oncology massage.

“We’re so thankful to Angie’s Spa for allowing us to give this incredible service to the people who need it most − those dealing with a very difficult time in their lives,” said Sarah Rausch-Osian, PhD, a University of Florida assistant professor of emergency medicine at UF Health Jacksonville who is managing the project. “We hope to use data over the next year to show that these types of services can provide comfort and better outcomes for cancer patients everywhere.”

UF Health Jacksonville is just one of six hospital programs across the country to receive the funding. Rausch-Osian is being assisted in the project by the UF Center for Health Equity and Quality Research (CHEQR) and the UF Department of Emergency Medicine.

"We are thrilled to partner with Jacksonville as our overwhelming goal is to provide consistent, reliable care/comfort to those cancer patients in dire need of something beneficial and positive,” said Kathleen Conner, president and co-founder of Angie’s Spa. “The beauty of the program is allowing patients to receive these services at no cost, so that no cancer patient needs to feel like they have to go without something else to receive these benefits.”

UF Health Jacksonville professionals say the response from patients has been tremendous.

“I am so grateful to Angie’s Spa for this opportunity to serve our patients by providing gentle massage,” said Marcia Patterson, BS, LMT, who serves as the massage therapy supervisor for the program. “Supportive, individualized massage therapy gives them a safe treat that helps them relax during this very challenging time.”

The reaction thus far from UF Health Jacksonville oncology patients proves just how comforting the program is:

“Today is my birthday and I got a great present! Thank you so much.”

“This is the best thing that has happened to my body in a long, long time!”

“You’re like an angel. I came here and I was very anxious, just really wound up, I just didn’t know what to do − but now I feel so much more relaxed.”

Angie’s Spa is a 100 percent volunteer organization, including all of the Angie’s Spa staff, legal counsel from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, advisors from the entertainment, financial industries and more. Angie’s Spa ensures that all raised funds go directly toward patient services.

For more information on UF Health Jacksonville, visit ufhealthjax.org. For more information on Angie’s Spa, visit angiesspa.org.


For more information, please contact:
UF Health Media Relations
904-244-3268