Aflac Commits $400,000 to Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
COLUMBIA, S.C., Sept. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Aflac, the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, has committed $400,000 to Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Columbia, South Carolina. In honor of the gift, the hospital will rename its outpatient hematology/oncology examination area the Aflac Children’s Care Center during a celebration on September 7 at 2 p.m. at Children’s Hospital, 7 Richland Medical Park, Columbia. In 2009, Aflac joined the Columbia community when it acquired Continental American Insurance Company, which now operates as Aflac Group Insurance.
“As our group business continues to grow, we want to send a strong message to the Midlands community that Aflac is committed to the children and families of Columbia and South Carolina,” Aflac President and Chief Operating Officer Paul S. Amos II said. “We are pleased to make this contribution and to have our name and the image of our famous Aflac Duck associated with the incredible work being done by the doctors, nurses and support staff at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.”
Each year at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, an average of 250 cancer patients are treated, including 40 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year, along with an average of 120 hemophilia and 550 sickle cell patients treated each year. While the long-term survival rate for children diagnosed with cancer exceeds 80 percent today, compared to less than 50 percent prior to 1970, cancer remains the number one cause of death by illness for children under 15.
Survivors often face significant side effects from their treatments, including heart, lung and fertility issues. Funding provided by Aflac will support the hospital’s Transition Recovery After Cancer Experience (TRACE) Clinic, which is dedicated to assessing the medical and psychosocial needs of long-term survivors of cancer, providing information on such subjects as life after treatment, life-long medical care, healthy living behaviors, and referrals to other resources as needed.
“This generous gift from Aflac will help families facing cancer not only as they are dealing with current treatment, but for years to come as they participate in the TRACE Clinic,” says Ronnie Neuberg, MD, medical director of the Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. “This gift will fund our TRACE Clinic, where we follow children after their cancer treatment to identify long-term problems related to their disease or treatment.”
The TRACE Clinic is held monthly with each patient coming at least once a year. Patients are seen by a team of professionals, including an oncologist, a nurse, a social worker, a psychologist, a nutritionist, and school support personnel. Educational materials are provided for each patient on topics related to survivorship and health.
In 1987, 2-year-old Benton Harding was diagnosed with Leukemia and was treated at what is now Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Now, 27 years old and cancer-free, Harding works as an account manager for Client Services at Aflac Group Insurance. He is also a patient in the TRACE program.
“Fighting cancer is hard, and it is a lifelong battle, but I am living proof of the great work being done at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and at Aflac Group Insurance,” Harding said. “My unique insights into both Palmetto Health and Aflac make me confident that this will be a terrific partnership. There is nowhere else I would want to receive my health care or earn my living.”
Since 1995, Aflac has made childhood cancer its primary philanthropic cause. The company has raised and contributed more than $70 million for treatment and research, and annually sells a holiday version of its iconic Aflac Duck with all proceeds going to children’s cancer facilities nearest to the locations the duck is sold.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For more than 55 years, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac individual and group insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For six consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. In 2012, FORTUNE magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 14th consecutive year. Also, FORTUNE magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 11th time in 2012. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com or espanol.aflac.com.
About Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital
Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital offers more than 30 pediatric subspecialties and is a major pediatric referral center for children from all 46 counties in South Carolina. Children’s Hospital treats more than 80,000 children each year in its inpatient and outpatient facilities. For more information, visit ch.palmettohealth.org.
About Palmetto Health Foundation
Palmetto Health Foundation’s mission is to engage community partners to enhance health care for patients and families served by Palmetto Health. For more information, visit palmettohealthfoundation.org or call (803) 434-7275.
Media Contacts: Analyst and Investor Contact: Laura Kane Robin Y. Wilkey Aflac Incorporated Aflac Incorporated 706.596.3493 1.800.235.2667; Fax: 706.324.6330 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Jon A. Sullivan Aflac Incorporated 706.763.4813 firstname.lastname@example.org Ashley M. Dusenbury, APR Palmetto Health Foundation 803.730.4969 email@example.com