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The Lewis and Faye Manderson Cancer Center at DCH Regional Medical Center has been awarded its third three-year accreditation with commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. This is the highest level of approval granted by the organization.
In order to receive the reaccreditation, the Cancer Center had had to exceed on 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through an on-site evaluation process and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.
“As a CoC-accredited cancer center, the Manderson Cancer Center takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer,” said Donna Marrero, vice president of outpatient and ancillary services for the DCH Health System. “We believe treating cancer requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists and other cancer specialists.”
The CoC accreditation program provides the framework for the Manderson Cancer Center to improve its quality of patient care through programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease and end-of-life care.
Patients also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling and patient-centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life, Marrero said.
Like all CoC-accredited facilities, the Manderson Cancer Center maintains a cancer registry and contributes data to the National Cancer Data Base, a joint program of the CoC and American Cancer Society. This nationwide oncology outcomes database is the largest clinical disease registry in the world.
By Tori Linville
Only 35,000 pounds stand in the way of glory. On Saturday, July 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. teams of participants will attempt to pull a Tuscaloosa Fire Department fire truck 25 feet with only their human strength and a bit of rope to benefit The Arc of Tuscaloosa County.
While registration is a minimum $250 per team, it doesn’t come without a leg up. The team that raises the most money receives a one and a half second advantage on their pull time. The fire truck pull will be held in the University Mall overflow parking lot and is free and open to the public.
The Arc of Tuscaloosa County is an organization that helps improve the quality of life for individuals with cognitive, intellectual and developmental disabilities. Greg Woods, the development coordinator for The Arc, said since an event hasn’t been held for The Arc in a while, the pull means more than just fundraising.
“When we were told there were going to be more budget cuts, we had to do something. It’s important for us because we run three campuses, a choir, programs with music, exercise and gardening for day habilitation folks,” Woods said. “Without money we can’t do that, so we just want to expand our programs and maintain what we do with the money we raise through The Pull.”
The Arc also provides personal care, in-home respite care and other activities for eligible participants. Day services are also a large part of The Arc’s programs. Services such as community-based education, helping with job search and more are all provided to more than 250 adults in the Tuscaloosa, Hale, Bibb and Green counties.
Food vendors are being arranged for The Pull, along with free emergency vehicle tours. A children’s area will be set up with bounce houses and other attractions. When it comes to safety there’s no need to worry, Woods said.
“Safety will not be an issue at The Pull. There will be a fireman in the truck to hit the brakes and gloves will be provided,” he said. “We are asking that participants don’t wear open-toed shoes. They’ll have to sign a liability form.”
The inspiration behind the pull came from a desire to stray from the norm. While a golf tournament and even a 5K were considered, Woods said the fire truck pull is a signature event that will keep The Arc in peoples’ minds.
Individuals from The Arc themselves will attend The Pull and some will be participating on teams, Woods said.
“We have two teams from here. We shoot for individuality and quality of life. We want our consumers to know they can do anything we can do,” he said. “When they see a business pull and they [Arc consumers] can get out and pull, they’re exactly the same.”
The City of Tuscaloosa Environmental Services Department will host “The Green Scene” indoor summer movie series at the Richard A. Curry Jr. complex July 17, July 24, July 31 and Aug. 7.
The following movies, which will all begin at 1 p.m., will be shown as part of the series:
Friday, July 17: “WALL-E”
Friday, July 24: “FernGully: The Last Rainforest”
Friday, July 31: “The Lorax”
Friday, Aug, 7: “Toy Story 3”
This free community event, presented by Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa, Inc., provides an opportunity to educate citizens on the importance of keeping the community clean and litter free, and encourage environmental stewardship while enjoying a popular children’s movie on a big screen.
Guests will receive a free bag of popcorn and refreshments provided by Coca-Cola. Attendees may go on a tour of the recycling plant after each movie.
An adult must accompany children under the age of 16, and guests are asked to limit five children per supervising adult.
This event is geared toward families with children not in school during the summer. Summer day camps, vacation bible schools and groups larger than 10 people are welcome, but are asked to call the Environmental Services Department to reserve space for their group.
United Way of West Alabama’s Young Leaders Society (YLS) will host its first Pie Eating Contest Thursday, July 16, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Temerson Square in downtown Tuscaloosa. Pie-eaters will be eating to benefit a charity of their choice.
Friends of the pie-eaters and their respective agencies (and anyone who likes a good laugh) are invited to join in the viewing fun. There is a $5 entry fee, which gets each guest five tickets. Guests can vote by placing the tickets inside the mason jar of the person or agency they want to win.
If you’ve never witnessed a pie eating contest, it’s quite fun! Contestants will take their places in front of the flavor pie of their choice. (Regular eaters know this decision can prove key to victory.) At the word “GO,” pie-eaters will tear into the pies for one minute without using hands. After the minute is up, they are free to use their hands to finish the final bites. If, after four minutes, none of the pies has been deemed officially finished, the judge will call time and select the pie-eater who has finished the largest portion, and crown the winner. The two winners will split the night’s proceeds between the agencies they are representing.
As part of ensuring the health and well-being of staff and visitors, all City of Tuscaloosa facilities, grounds and vehicles will become tobacco-free effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Tobacco use, including the use of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes, will be prohibited in all facilities, grounds and parking areas owned, rented or leased by the City of Tuscaloosa.
According to a press release, the new policy is designed to protect people from the dangers of second-hand smoke, promotes a healthier environment and reduces littering.
The City will provide resources to support its staff as this policy takes effect. Over the next few months, the City of Tuscaloosa will implement an information campaign and begin working with employees who wish to break their addiction to tobacco products.
By Tori Linville
A team of students with Deaf Teen Quest were in Tuscaloosa this week, in affiliation with Youth for Christ, a Christian youth organization. Teams from cities like Mobile and Atlanta will visit Tuscaloosa to work with Project Blessings.
The team is comprised of 15 to 20 deaf and hard of hearing students and staff, said Mike Green, Tuscaloosa’s Youth for Christ director. The team works to help others who don’t have the resources or capacity to do their own home repairs under the guidance of Project Blessings, he said.
“One of our principles is that people need to serve, because sometimes we’re so focused on ourselves,” he said. “Sometimes they [the students] think all programs should be there to meet their needs, and we’re trying to show them that there are other people with other needs. It gives them a perspective that there are others out there who can help in many different ways.”
Youth for Christ provides outreach to high school and middle school aged students, specifically through the Campus Life and Teen Moms programs in Tuscaloosa. Under Project Blessings, the deaf and hard of hearing students will complete different chores for those in need. Green said Youth for Christ does not provide outreach to just any one church.
“Chores change daily from painting, cleaning, roof repairs to landscaping,” Green said. “They complete low skill type of projects that a team can knock out but that a family can feel overwhelmed with. It’s a variety of home repairs in that way.”
Green said the benefits of helping with Project Blessings and Deaf Teen Quest are more than just helping those in need. He said most students come away with a sense of being helped themselves as well.
“I think the common story is that kids come thinking that it’s about giving to others and it definitely is, but they’re incredibly blessed because they come to the realization that they can help somebody else,” he said. “They come to help not realizing it [serving] gives a different perspective of themselves and that God gives them what they need to help others.”
With students not expecting to get as much out of it as they actually do, Green said Deaf Teen Quest offers a great chance to come and meet its group of students, especially for those with children who are hearing impaired. The five essentials for YFC’s Deaf Teen Quest are widespread prayer, loving relationships, faithful Bible teaching, adults who empower and collaborative community strategy.
To find out more information about Deaf Teen Quest and Youth for Christ, those interested can call (205) 752-3361.
Photo: Mike Green
The Eagles’ Wings choir, which travels throughout the area performing uplifting songs, made a stop at Tuscaloosa’s Crimson Village on Thursday, July 9. The group, along with longtime volunteer choir director Nadine Estes, sang and signed to many songs. If you haven’t had the opportunity to hear the Eagles’ Wings choir, it’s an amazing experience.
The choir performed a variety of different songs, including “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh Happy Day” and “Lord I Lift Your Name on High.”
Everyone in attendance was deeply moved, and one audience member noted that the Eagles’ Wings choir performance of Bette Midler’s “From a Distance” moved her “to tears,” reminding her that too often “we are looking for the worst in each other,” adding, “We could all use a little reminder to be kind and love one another.”
Eagles’ Wings is a locally-based organization which offers day rehabilitation for adults with special needs. Eagles’ Wings offers a variety of different programs, including both art and music therapy. For more information, visit the official Eagles’ Wings site.
Crimson Village Senior Living Community is an assisted living facility on Veterans Memorial Parkway in Tuscaloosa. For more information, visit the official Crimson Village website.
Photos: Britney McComb
Two of college football’s last three national champions will meet in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to open the 2017 season in epic fashion.
The 10th installment of the nation’s longest-running kickoff game will feature the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida State Seminoles in what will be the first regular-season college game to be played in the Falcon’s state-of-the-art New Atlanta stadium.
The game is set for Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Exact kick time and television network are yet to be announced.
“With two teams of this caliber, it really is going to be a bowl-game type atmosphere and an epic celebration of college football,” said Percy Vaughn, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl chairman.
“These teams represent the best in our sport,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. president and CEO.
“The best players, the best coaches, the best fans. It’s going to be a memorable start to the season and there is no better place to host this than in Atlanta, the capital of college football.”
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game averages more than 66,000 fans for each game – higher than 30 bowl games from last year – and its team payout averages $4.3 million, which is higher than 21 bowl games last season. Television viewership is also traditionally strong with more than 40 million viewers tuning in to the series since 2008.
Alabama and Florida State have met four times with the Crimson Tide holding a 2-1-1 advantage over the Seminoles. FSU, however, won the most recent game in 2007. The series originally dates back to 1965. This will be Alabama’s fifth appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, where the Tide hold a 4-0 record. It will be the first time Florida State has opened the season in Atlanta.
“This game with Florida State fits our scheduling philosophy of playing outstanding opponents in great venues in games that create great exposure for our program,” said Bill Battle, Alabama director of athletics. “Of course, it also continues our tremendous relationship with the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game which goes back to the 2008 season opener. This game with the Seminoles will be an excellent start to the 2017 season and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
“This is a great opportunity to open the 2017 season against an outstanding Florida State program,” Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban said. “Jimbo has done an excellent job there and this will provide a great challenge for our team. Having this game first on the schedule will give our players plenty to look forward to and prepare for in the offseason.”
“It’s really an honor and a privilege to be a part of this first-class event hosted by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which has really grown into one of the great traditions in college football. The last four times we've participated in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, it has been a big bowl game atmosphere and I know that will again be the case with these two programs,” said Saban.
“The game with Alabama will be one of the highlights of the college football season,” said Florida State Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox. “Both schools have significant alumni bases in Atlanta, and we would expect the media coverage of the game to be on par with some of the biggest non-conference games in recent history. The exposure for our University and our athletics program will be invaluable. We look forward to the game and playing in a fantastic venue.”
“We are very excited to be opening the 2017 season against Alabama at the new Falcons stadium in Atlanta,” Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Scheduling top non-conference opponents is critical in today’s day and age. These are two great football programs and there will be a tremendous atmosphere. It’s a great matchup for our fans and for college football. We are looking forward to the opportunity.”
The majority of the tickets will be divided between the two teams, creating a true neutral-site environment. All tickets will be sold through the university ticket offices.
The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s iconic rivalry-game trophies. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.
For more information, visit Chick-fil-AKickoffGame.com.
By Brandie Rickett Bowden
Theatre Tuscaloosa is wrapping up its 2014-15 season with the summer musical Fiddler on the Roof. The theme for this season, “To Life,” comes from the title of a song in this show. Originally a series of short stories by Sholem Aleichem, Fiddler became an award-winning Broadway production in 1964 and a film adaptation in 1971.
This story focuses on Tevye, a Jewish man in Russia in the early 20th century. He tries to maintain his Jewish lifestyle, instilling those same cultures and traditions in his five daughters, while the anti-Semitic czar threatens their way of life. According to Tevye, “Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.”
This cast of more than 30 members recognize the responsibility they have to this play.
“There are not many shows where you can act out history,” said Grace Conner, who plays one of Tevye’s daughters, Hodel. “It’s a very historic show. I can study the character and actually look at pictures of these people.”
James Moretz plays Perchik, Hodel’s love interest. “I didn’t expect it to be so historically rich and deep. I thought it was just a sing-song musical, but it’s about a family’s world that’s changing,” he said.
The cast took time to have dinner with a Messianic Jewish Rabbi who taught them more about Jewish culture. He answered their questions and shared with them how they can be true to the religion and traditions while playing their characters.
“Every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck,” says Tevye, and the audience gets to go along with him on his journey to do just that. The story presents his joys and sorrows while trying to marry his daughters off to suitable men while being true to his faith.
“These characters have to dig deep to find laughter in dark times and make the best of what they have,” said Moretz. “They find comfort in comedy.”
“The play shows how they bring light to a dark situation,” Conner said. “It’s a challenge to balance the comedic and dramatic.”
Fiddler on the Roof runs through Sunday, July 19. To purchase tickets, call the Theatre Tuscaloosa ticket office at (205) 391-2277 or visit their website at www.theatretusc.com.
Photos: Kiera Gillock
The Tuscaloosa Backpack Coalition is currently holding its annual school supply drive, collecting school supplies for referred students from the Tuscaloosa City and Tuscaloosa County school systems, the Department of Human Resources, the Salvation Army, TOPS and the Housing Authority.
The Tuscaloosa Backpack Coalition’s Apples for Education is underway now at University Mall. Volunteers will be on hand to distribute apples at the Apples for Education table every day through Sunday, July 26. Donations are needed to fill over 2000 backpacks for area students.
Pam Rogers, coordinator for the Tuscaloosa Backpack Coalition, says it’s always exciting to see the community support each year.
“We start out every year with zero – nothing,” she said. “It is always so amazing to see how our community rallies together to support this worthy cause. I’ve seen it happen for the past 12 years!”
In addition to the Apples for Education table at University Mall, special collection bins will be located at area agencies, businesses and churches.
The backpacks will be distributed on Saturday, August 1 at several area locations. To see a full list of distribution sites and to learn more information about donations, visit the Tuscaloosa Backpack Coalition’s official website.
Here is a list of the items that are most needed to help fill these backpacks:
Plastic school box
Pens (black, blue, red)
Bottle of glue
Folders with pockets
3 ring binders
College ruled paper
Wide ruled paper