Hospital provides massages for cancer patients

Published On: Feb 23 2014 10:40:07 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 23 2014 11:39:56 AM EST

VIDEO: UF Health and Angie's Spa Cancer Foundation are teaming up to provide comfort to cancer patient by providing free therapeutic spa services. Dr. Sarah Osian, UF Health Department of Emergency Medicine, and Patrice Burse, a patient at the hospital, talk about the partnership and how it benefits patients.


UF Health Jacksonville and the national organization Angie’s Spa Cancer Foundation are teaming up to provide comfort to cancer patients and to document the effectiveness of the initiative during the program.

Angie’s Spa is a charitable cancer foundation founded in memory of Angie Levy that funds hospital programs across the country with the express purpose of providing free therapeutic spa services to cancer patients. These spa services are designed to alleviate painful side effects from cancer treatment, providing relaxation while also giving patients a self-esteem boost.

UF Health Jacksonville recently received a $23,000 grant from the organization to use in providing oncology massage.

“We’re so thankful to Angie’s Spa for allowing us to give this incredible service to the people who need it most, those dealing with a very difficult time in their lives,” said Sarah Rausch-Osian, PhD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at UF Health Jacksonville who is managing the project. “We hope to use data over the next year to show that these types of services can provide comfort and better outcomes for cancer patients everywhere.”

UF Health Jacksonville is just one of six hospital programs across the country to receive the funding. Rausch-Osian is being assisted in the project by the UF Center for Equity and Quality Research (CHEQR) and Department of Emergency Medicine.

"We are thrilled to partner with Jacksonville as our overwhelming goal is to provide consistent, reliable care/comfort to those cancer patients in dire need of something beneficial and positive,” said Kathleen Conner, president and co-founder of Angie’s Spa. “The beauty of the program is allowing patients to receive these services at no cost, so that no cancer patient needs to feel like they have to go without something else to receive these benefits.”

UF Health Jacksonville professionals say the response from patients has been tremendous.

Patient Patrice Burse is going through chemotherapy and says it makes a big difference.

"It relaxes you," Burse says. "It takes your mind off of it, the chemo, when you're going through a massage."

Angie’s Spa is a 100 percent volunteer organization, including all of the Angie’s Spa staff, legal counsel from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP; advisors from the entertainment, financial industries and more. Angie’s Spa ensures that all raised funds go directly towards patient services.

For more information on UF Health Jacksonville go to For more information on Angie’s Spa go to


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