Michael B. Harris, M.D.

“The history of the Institute goes back to June 29, 1987, when we moved from a hospital in New York and brought the program to Hackensack University Medical Center to what would become the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital,” said Dr. Michael B. Harris, Co-Director of the Children’s Cancer Institute. “Our philosophy from the very beginning was to provide cutting-edge therapy to children with blood disorders and cancer, and to establish an atmosphere conducive to their care and cure by establishing a very strong psycho-social presence. We brought in social workers, child life specialists, psychologists and educational liaisons who take care of all the families’ needs. We dedicated ourselves to performing careful research both clinically – and when the opportunity arose – translational research to bring discoveries that were being found in the laboratory to the bedside. I believe we accomplished those goals..”

The Children’s Cancer Institute now encompasses four major areas:

  • Hematology for the care of blood disorders in children;
  • Oncology to take care of children with cancer;
  •  A Bone Marrow Transplant Program to take care of children, not only with hematologic disorders such as sickle cell disease and cancer such as recurrent leukemias, but also immenial-efficiency syndromes that are now being transplanted at the Institute; and
  • A Cure and Beyond Program for cancer survivorship to take care of children after they have been treated and through their teenage, adolescent, adult years and even beyond that. Dr. Harris is still following some patients who are now in their 50s!

“We want to take care of children from the beginning of their disease to the time they are cured, while giving them the best quality of life so they can become happy and productive adults… and I think we have accomplished all of that,” Harris added.

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