Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Celebrates Its 10th Birthday
ATLANTA June 6, 2005 – The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta today celebrates its 10th birthday with a special guest appearance from Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs, a national activist for pediatric cancer. Recognized as one of the top three pediatric cancer centers in the country by Child magazine, the Aflac Cancer Center has benefited from the generosity of Aflac for the last 10 years. To date, the Columbus, Ga.-based insurance company has contributed $25 million to the Aflac Cancer Center helping the center treat more than 300 new cancer patients yearly and nearly 1,500 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders.
“Aflac is proud to see the many great strides the Aflac Cancer Center has accomplished in research and treatment for pediatric patients throughout the past 10 years. As our company's core philanthropic endeavor, Aflac is committed to finding a cure for this childhood disease as we have seen how cancer impacts lives,” said Daniel P. Amos, chairman and CEO of Aflac. “We applaud the cancer center physicians and medical staff for their untiring work. We are also excited to have Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs join us as we celebrate the center's 10th birthday and the amazing collaboration between Aflac and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.”
The Aflac Cancer Center's 10th birthday celebration is part of Miss America 2005's national speaking tour raising awareness about her platform of Curing Childhood Cancer. An aspiring pediatrician, Deidre Downs has spent many hours on her platform issue in her home state of Alabama creating the Making Miracles Program to raise awareness and research funds in the fight against childhood cancer. As a national spokesperson, Downs travels extensively addressing audiences on the importance of finding a cure for this deadly disease.
Like Downs, Aflac and the Aflac Cancer Center are working toward the ultimate goal of ending childhood cancer. In 1995, on a handshake, Aflac took leadership in the battle against pediatric cancer when company executives pledged $3 million to establish the Aflac Cancer Center at Egleston Children's Hospital. Egleston and Scottish Rite Children's hospitals merged in February 1998 to become Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, with an Aflac Cancer Center at both campuses.
“Thanks to Aflac's support, the Aflac Cancer Center has the resources to offer patients and families a team of specialized pediatric caregivers who have an emphasis on high-quality care and dedicated research. In addition, we are able to provide a source of strength and create a place of hope,” said William G. Woods, M.D., Aflac Cancer Center medical director. “Every day I witness how Aflac's generosity is making a difference in the lives of our patients and their families.”
In December 2001, Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos announced a gift of $10 million to the Aflac Cancer Center. The gift is the largest in Aflac's history and is the largest corporate gift ever made to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The Aflac Field Force, representing the Aflac sales associates, also set out to match Aflac's corporate gift of $10 million. Both goals were met in 2004 and to date, the Aflac Cancer Center has received $25 million from Aflac Incorporated and the Aflac Field Force.
“The Aflac Cancer Center is a part of Aflac's culture and all of our people support the amazing work done at the center,” noted Amos. “Members of the Aflac Field Force from around the country support the Aflac Cancer Center because they understand that the research being done there through clinical trials and experimental therapy will benefit every child in the country who has cancer.”
In 2002, the Aflac Field Force donated $3 million to endow the Fellowship program which is training tomorrow's pediatric leaders in oncology and hematology. In addition, the Field Force endowed the Family Support Team with $3 million in 2003. The Family Support Team provides family-centered care from the moment of diagnosis throughout the child's treatment and includes school teachers, social workers, psychologists, chaplains and child life specialists.
In addition to the company's generous donations to the Aflac Cancer Center, Aflac employees passionately support patients and their families year-round through volunteer opportunities and fundraising events. For example, on one Saturday a month Aflac employee volunteers travel from Columbus, Ga. to visit the Aflac Cancer Center and play bingo with the patients. The monthly bingo game has become a tradition at the Aflac Cancer Center and a highlight for the patients and their families.
The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is a national leader among childhood cancer, hematology, and blood and marrow transplant programs, serving infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Recognized as one of the top three pediatric cancer centers in the country by Child magazine, the Aflac Cancer Center treats more than 300 new cancer patients each year and follows nearly 1,500 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other bleeding disorders. The Aflac Cancer Center is one of many programs at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Children's, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the country, is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. For more information, visit www.choa.org/cancer or call 404-250-KIDS.
For 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan. Aflac's insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people worldwide. In January 2005, Aflac was included in Fortune magazine's list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the seventh consecutive year. Aflac has also been included in both Forbes magazine's Platinum 400 List of America's Best Big Companies and in Fortune magazine's listing of America's Most Admired Companies for five consecutive years. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com.
The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. In 2004, the Miss America Organization made available more than $45 million in cash and tuition scholarship assistance. Based in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Miss America Organization provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills a spirit of community service through a variety of unique nationwide community-based programs. On an annual basis, Miss America state and local titleholders, along with the Organization's network of volunteers, participate in more than 9,000 community-service projects, providing in excess of 500,000 service hours to worthy causes.
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta