Visit Highlights Strong Bond Between Chai Lifeline and Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ
Dr. Peter D. Cole, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, visited Camp Simcha, Chai Lifeline’s summer camp for children and teenagers battling cancer and other blood disorders, on Wednesday afternoon. The visit highlighted the close partnership between Chai Lifeline and Rutgers Cancer Institute, and their efforts to improve the lives of children facing serious illness.
“We’re so glad that Dr. Cole had the opportunity to see the incredible work of Chai Lifeline in Camp Simcha firsthand. Chai Lifeline has been fortunate to enjoy a special partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute, and this visit underscores our shared commitment to be there for families living with pediatric illness,” said Rabbi Sruli Fried, MSW, Director of Chai Lifeline’s New Jersey/ Pennsylvania Region.
Dr. Cole’s visit was initiated by Dr. Scott Moerdler, Pediatric Hematologist/ Oncologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute and assistant professor of pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, who also serves as a physician in Camp Simcha over the summer. Rabbi Yehoshua Brodsky, Chai Lifeline case manager, and Dr. Caroline Fein Levy, Pediatric Hematologist/ Oncologist at Northwell Health, who is a physician in Camp Simcha as well, accompanied Dr. Cole throughout his visit. The group received a comprehensive tour of the immaculate campgrounds and had the opportunity to interact with many of the young campers, hearing how life-changing Camp Simcha has been for them.
Dr. Cole spent a considerable amount of time in the fully equipped, state-of-the-art infirmary, which is staffed by three leading oncologists, who ensure that camp is safe for cancer patients at all stages of treatment. Following the tour, the doctors and Rabbi Brodsky enjoyed a delicious lunch in the campers’ dining room, followed by a performance for the campers and spirited dancing.
“In touring Camp Simcha, it was very rewarding to see that our mission at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is aligned with that of Chai Lifeline – caring for the ‘whole’ child,” said Dr. Cole, who also serves as the Embrace Kids Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and a professor of pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “When it comes to pediatric cancer, addressing non-medical aspects in a child’s life – such as emotional well-being and having fun – is just as important as providing any cutting-edge care they’ll receive. We cherish our relationship with Chai Lifeline, working together to provide hope and normalcy to these children and their families.”