When Orlando takes the national stage in NCAAF post-season play Dec. 19, Florida Hospital will play a major sponsorship role.
Florida Hospital, ranked the state's leading hospital for the third consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report, is partnering with the AutoNation Cure Bowl to bring awareness to breast cancer and support for finding a cure. The unique partnership enhances a strong collaboration between the Adventist Health System and Annette Khaled, PhD, a leading breast cancer researcher at the University of Central Florida (UCF) School of Medicine working to develop new technologies that treat metastatic cancer cells.
"We strive to expand Florida Hospital's mission - extending the healing ministry of Christ - outside the walls of our hospitals and into our communities," said Lori Boardman, MD, medical director of Florida Hospital for Women. "This is carried out through a variety of ways - from holistic improvements in the Bithlo community, to our lung clinics that provide free care to the uninsured, to trying to reduce the diabetes rate in Eatonville. The partnership with the AutoNation Cure Bowl is one more way that we can bring healthcare, education and awareness directly to women in our communities without them ever having to walk through our hospital doors."
The Saturday bowl game a week before Christmas between teams from the American Athletic and Sun Belt conferences is part of a five-year deal Florida Hospital signed with the Orlando Sports Foundation to bring a third college football bowl game to the Citrus Bowl.
Florida Hospital, among the nation's largest not-for-profit healthcare providers with 22 campuses throughout the Sunshine State, focuses heavily on the critical role that research plays in the development of prevention strategies and new treatments for cancers. Currently, Florida Hospital provides tissue samples from breast cancer patients to Khaled in her mission to develop new technologies to treat metastatic cancer cells.
"Florida Hospital's mission is carried out not just inside our hospital walls, but also in research labs as we work toward common goals of finding cures for diseases," said Boardman. "Although the nation's goal for breast cancer screening is 81 percent, only 50 percent of women in Central Florida got a mammogram in 2014. Even though the occurrence of breast cancer has been decreasing, more than 230,000 women living in the U.S., will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year," Boardman said. "These women deserve more of our time and resources. This new bowl game will help further our mission by raising proceeds for breast cancer research and bringing an overall awareness to not just Central Florida, but football fans across the country."
Proceeds from the bowl game will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and foster greater collaboration between Florida Hospital and Khaled to identify specific types of patients her treatment could impact.
"The Cure Bowl is an innovative way to raise awareness and funds to find a cure," said Sharon Line Clary, executive director of Florida Hospital strategic marketing. "We know women put their families and friends first, and frequently, their own health takes a backseat. That means women often don't take preventative measures - such as mammograms - that could save their life. By working with the Orlando Sports Foundation and their partners, we can expedite the research process in hopes of finding a cure for breast cancer."
Florida Hospital's Cure Village will take place outside the Citrus Bowl and feature the healthcare system's mobile mammography unit, the same mobile unit taken on Florida roads to rural communities throughout the year to provide life-saving screenings for women who cannot easily access mammograms.
"Florida Hospital is in the midst of planning for the event and has engaged other community partners, physicians and organizations with shared missions to participate," said Line Clary. "The game will be a wonderful opportunity for breast cancer survivors and community advocates such as Florida Hospital's Pink Army - a community initiative that increases awareness about early detection and prevention of breast cancer - to show their support, raise awareness and help to find a cure."
Annette Khaled, PhD, assistant professor in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Florida (UCF) School of Medicine, has generated more than $1 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how the death protein BAX is activated to cause the death of immune cells. This area of research holds promise in finding cures for cancer and neurodegenerative disease. She has additional funding from NIH to study interleukin-7, a critical factor for maintenance of a healthy immune system, and for promoting the growth and survival of immune cells.
AutoNation Cure Bowl: http://curebowl.com/cure-bowl-coming-orlando-december-19/
AutoNation Cure Bowl membership: http://curebowl.com/membership/
Florida Hospital: https://www.floridahospital.com/
University of Central Florida School of Medicine's Dr. Annette Khaled: http://today.ucf.edu/expert/annette-khaled/