UI Hospital Unveils Renovated Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit
The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System will unveil its newly remodeled 10-bed Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit Thursday, Oct. 4, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Physicians, staff, and donors will join former patients in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the unit located on the eighth floor of the hospital at 1740 W. Taylor St.
The renovation was made possible, in part, by a generous donation from the Perry Family Foundation Gift Fund.
Dr. Damiano Rondelli, director of the blood and marrow transplant program at UI Hospital, met Jim Perry, co-founder and managing director of Madison Dearborn Partners, an investment firm in Chicago, in a prayer group at a Chicago Catholic church almost 10 years ago. Their friendship — and Rondelli’s passion for his work – led Perry and his wife, Molly, to donate $500,000 over five years through their foundation.
The Perry family’s gift will be used to finance three initiatives: remodeling of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, support for stem cell research, and funding for the Perry Family Assistance Program, an endowment fund for patients who cannot afford the co-payment for insurance or transplant drugs.
Patients who have a transplant usually stay in the hospital for a month or longer, said Rondelli. The remodeled unit provides comfortable surroundings for both patients and families during the lengthy recovery.
The renovation provides a hotel-like atmosphere with state-of-the-art medical equipment; headboards to improve clinical patient care; new cabinetry for patient and supply storage; brighter surroundings with new windows and fixtures; new furniture, including patient recliner chairs, visitor chairs, and overnight beds; colorful artwork; and new audiovisual and computer technology, so patients can stay connected with the outside world.
Perry has challenged UI Hospital and the University of Illinois Foundation to match the gift for a potential total of $1.5 million.
The Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at UI Hospital has treated more than 600 patients with different types of cancer of the bone marrow, solid tumors, and blood disorders, such as aplastic anemia or sickle cell anemia. Available treatment options include matched related and unrelated bone marrow and peripheral blood transplants, umbilical cord blood transplants, and haploidentical (or half-matched) transplants. The program also conducts leading-edge translational research to improve the outcomes of these transplants.