Philanthropists Jane and Mike McLain make major gift to pediatric program

Published: May 24th, 2018

Category: Around the Center

The UF Health Proton Therapy Institute has named the pediatric recovery room in honor of philanthropists Jane and Mike McLain to acknowledge their support of  the pediatric program. The McLains’ $200,000 gift will fund clinical research and the many support services designed to ease the treatment process for patients.

The Jane and Mike McLain Pediatric Recovery Room is an essential area of the clinic where children under the age of 5 are prepared for and recover from daily proton therapy. Staffed by full-time pediatric oncology nurses and pediatric anesthesiologists, the room is equipped with child-sized furniture and other medical devices designed specifically for children.

Mike and Jane McLain at the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, FL.

Proton therapy is a cancer treatment that delivers radiation precisely to the treatment area with minimal or no radiation to normal, healthy tissue. For optimal results in proton therapy, it is necessary for the patient to lie in exactly the same position without moving during treatment each day to ensure the proton beam is focused on the targeted treatment area. Most patients over the age of 5 who receive daily proton therapy do not require sedation. However, the youngest patients – infants and those under the age of 5 – are often unable to remain completely still during the 30- to 45-minute daily treatment. For them, sedation is necessary for accuracy and safety.

“We are very grateful for this generous and compassionate gift from Jane and Mike McLain,” said Nancy Mendenhall, M.D., the medical director of the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. “The value of their contribution to the comfort of our youngest patients and their families is beyond measure. And the research their gift enables will impact generations to come.”

The Jane and Mike McLain Pediatric Recovery Room was recently renovated to provide additional privacy for patients and families and a décor designed to promote healing.

“The soft lighting and soothing color palette and design has transformed the space that was formerly sterile and clinical into a tranquil area that is child-friendly, welcoming and calming,” said Amy Sapp, R.N., the director of pediatric nursing. “The space has a positive impact on both the medical and psychosocial well-being of the children and their families by decreasing anxiety and stress related to the various medical procedures encountered on a daily basis as well as providing an area for play and distraction.”

The comprehensive renovation was made possible through the generous support of many donors who are recognized on a newly unveiled sign in the recovery room. “Thanks to all who contributed in large and small ways through the UFHPTI For the Children Fund. And thanks to our volunteers, many of whom are alumni patients, who have championed this fundraising effort,” said Stuart Klein, executive director.