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Contact Information: Theresa Makrush | PH 904.798.3199 | tmakrush@shepherdagency.com

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University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute Opens Art Gallery Featuring Patients’ Work

January 25, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute opens their gallery of contemporary art, an exhibition of new work by patients, family and staff, with a reception on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012.

UF Proton Therapy Institute artist-in-residence, Barbara Holmes-Fryefield holds regular art workshops in the lobby for patients and their family.  Time creating art provides much-needed relief and distraction from the anxiety, pain, and boredom that is often associated with daily treatments and appointments over a six-to-eight week treatment schedule.

“Patients and staff quickly remember that they are more than their diagnosis as they begin to explore art-making.  Many are creating art for the first time in their lives.” said Holmes-Fryefield, artist-in-residence at the UF Proton Therapy Institute.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Barbara holds art workshops in the facility’s lobby.  The rich and expressive art curriculum covers a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, writing, jewelry design and clay.

The art exhibit will be on display in a frequently used meeting room.  It’s the location of the weekly luncheon for patients and families, the weekly prostate patient meeting, family fun night site (for pediatric patients) and staff meetings.

The UF Proton Therapy Institute was awarded a grant by the Lance Armstrong organization, LIVESTRONG, which provided funding in 2011 to replicate the Creative Center Hospital Artist-In-Residence Program located in New York City.  The cancer treatment center has made the decision to continue a commitment to a complimentary arts program for patients, family and staff.

The UF Proton Therapy Institute, open since 2006, treats cancer patients with proton therapy, a form of radiation that destroys cancerous tumors while preventing damage to healthy, normal body tissue and organs. Proton therapy is the only radiation treatment that can accomplish both an optimal high dose and spare healthy tissue, especially for hard to reach tumors in the brain, head and neck, prostate and lung and for cancer in children.

UF Proton Therapy Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with the UF College of Medicine, dedicated to delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment and setting new standards for treating and curing the disease. The cancer treatment facility houses both conventional radiation and proton therapy, and delivers proton therapy to 100 patients a day. For more information about UF Proton Therapy Institute, please visit www.floridaproton.org, or call toll-free 877-686-6009.

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