JCCF partnership funds physician equipment at cancer center

The Jimmy Crabtree Cancer Fund, West Orange Healthcare District and Orlando Health Cancer Institute teamed up to provide cameras and speaker systems at the center’s Ocoee location.

Lisa Maher; Shantelle Arrington; Laura Clifton; Natalia Delarosa;  Shayla Rivera; Danica Kramer; Lindsey Jacques; Angela Letzinger; Curtis Arnold; Roy Borrero Gonzalez; and Andy, Karen, Sue and Fred Crabtree.
Lisa Maher; Shantelle Arrington; Laura Clifton; Natalia Delarosa; Shayla Rivera; Danica Kramer; Lindsey Jacques; Angela Letzinger; Curtis Arnold; Roy Borrero Gonzalez; and Andy, Karen, Sue and Fred Crabtree.
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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A three-way partnership in West Orange County has resulted in another win for all three organizations — the West Orange Healthcare District, the Jimmy Crabtree Cancer Fund and the Orlando Health Cancer Institute at Health Central Hospital in Ocoee.

The healthcare district had grant money to offer, but it had to be used in some way relating to COVID-19. The center needed equipment for each of its clinical rooms so doctors can conduct virtual visits with their patients. The JCCF wanted to continue its role in the community of helping cancer patients in financial need.

Dealing with cancer can be challenging, especially when COVID-19 makes in-person treatments, follow-up appointments and counseling sessions dangerous for immunosuppressed patients. To address that challenge, JCCF stepped in and acted as a conduit for funds.

The organization was given a $5,000 district grant to purchase cameras and speakers for each of the 27 clinical rooms at the cancer center. In addition to providing remote access to the patients, the new equipment also will make it easier for physicians to set up meetings with nutritionists, financial counselors and their cancer support team.

The Crabtree organization was able to buy all the necessary equipment and return more than $1,000 to the district.

Fred and Sue Crabtree and their children established JCCF in 2011 following their son and brother Jimmy’s death from cancer. The nonprofit organization provides financial support to local families touched by cancer.

The three organizations have benefited from one another in the past.

The JCCF has established a good relationship with the cancer institute, which provides the names of patients who qualify for financial assistance. When the Crabtrees learned of the cancer center’s need, they approached the WOHD and asked about any available grants.

“Us giving them money for equipment doesn’t really fit into our mission statement, but we knew we could help in some way, so we did,” Andy Crabtree said.

The paperwork was filed, and the board members approved the $5,000 grant in October. JCCF received the money in November, purchased the equipment and delivered it to the oncologists and physicians at the cancer center in January.

“Orlando Health has been a great sponsor for our organization through the years, and they’ve been a good partner to find recipients in need,” Andy Crabtree said.

The district has been good to Orlando Health in the past, too — it awarded a $21 million grant to the hospital system in 2016 to fund the original construction of the cancer center.

When the cancer center first opened, JCCF provided iPads for patients to use while they’re in treatment.

“JCCF is very important to us,” said Dawn Willis, Orlando Health community relations. “We made a connection by introducing them to the people at our cancer centers. They’re a great family. … They give unconditionally to these families. …We identify the people who have financial need, our financial people at the cancer center and the nurses see where a patient can’t pay their bill or their electric is going to be shut off.

“We work together because they give funds to our patients,” she said. “And they don’t have to worry about paying it back.”

JCCF works in partnership with AdventHealth as well, providing financial assistance for its cancer patients.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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