Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, and Wolfson Children's Hospital celebrate grand opening of THE PLAYERS Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

Eckstein Family Infusion Suite, a service of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, also opens in new center

Jacksonville, FL -

Highlighted by a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville, in collaboration with Wolfson Children’s Hospital, opened a new state-of-the-art facility named THE PLAYERS Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. The center opens to patients on June 26 and offers a fully integrated approach to hematology/oncology treatment with the ability to provide multiple services in one location, offering a better experience for patients and families.

The new center is part of the Nemours Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD), the most extensive pediatric cancer program in the state with treatment centers in Northeast and Central Florida. In addition, the center includes the only pediatric sickle cell program in the city and one of the largest in the state.
“THE PLAYERS Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders will offer the full spectrum of cancer and blood disorder care delivery,” said Michael Erhard, MD, North Florida president, Nemours Children’s Health. “This is a landmark moment for cancer and blood disorder care in Northeast Florida. We are proud and honored to serve the needs of the community in an expert and compassionate fashion in this facility.”

One of the new space’s most notable enhancements is the Eckstein Family Infusion Suite, a Wolfson Children’s Hospital service. The infusion suite features five open infusion bays and three private isolation rooms for immunocompromised patients. The space will be staffed by Wolfson Children’s Hospital pediatric oncology-certified nurses. It will include a medication room and a treatment room, which allows the hospital team to perform procedures such as IV starts, port access and other medical services.

“Building upon the partnership with Nemours Children’s, the new Wolfson Children’s Hospital Infusion suite, supported by the Ray and Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust, will help us provide comfortable, convenient treatments to patients and families within the clinic space,” said Allegra C. Jaros, president, Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “Children will be able to see their Nemours pediatric hematologist/oncologist, have their lab draws, get prepared for their infusions and receive their treatment, all in an outpatient setting.”

Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting event was the culmination of a more than $11 million capital campaign begun in 2019 for the center’s complete redesign, expansion and renovation. THE PLAYERS Championship made the lead gift to the campaign donating $2 million in October 2022.

"Here at THE PLAYERS, we believe in the power of helping others, transforming lives and strengthening our community, and we are so excited that this center will provide Northeast Florida families and children with the resources that they deserve,” said Lee Smith, executive director, THE PLAYERS Championship.

Design of the project began in November 2021 and construction was complete at the beginning of this month. The project expanded the hematology/oncology department, doubling the size to more than 12,000 square feet, now taking up the entire fifth floor. New features include a dedicated laboratory space for point-of-care testing and one-stop service. The lab features a pneumatic tube station connected to Nemours Children’s main laboratory on the ninth floor and to Wolfson Children’s Hospital, making the entire testing process more efficient.

The design of THE PLAYERS Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders creates spaces that are comfortable and have a home-like feel that will be supportive of the needs of the whole family, ensuring the best possible outcomes for children.

New features include:

  • Waiting rooms and play areas to meet the drastically different needs of teen and toddler patients.
  • Comprehensive clinic capacity with room to provide multiple services that rotate efficiently.
  • Specialized rooms for in-person consults, education, telehealth consultations, psychology testing and therapy.
  • Dedicated medication room
  • Comforting, supportive care service spaces including social work, a parent lounge, child life area and staff lounge.