Albany Med Unveils “Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders” In Honor of Holiday Concert Series

Albany Medical Center announced this month that it has renamed the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders the “Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders” to commemorate 30 years of sponsors’ support of the Capital Region’s popular holiday concert series—Melodies of Christmas. To date, thanks to corporate partners Price Chopper, Freihofer’s and WRGB CBS-6, the event has raised approximately $5.7 million to support the region’s only pediatric cancer service.

“Today we honor all of the people who have been associated with Melodies of Christmas these many years and have worked tirelessly to ensure that as long as families in our region face the difficult reality of childhood cancer, they will be able to find hope here at Albany Medical Center,” said James J. Barba, president and CEO of Albany Medical Center. “With the support of Price Chopper, Freihofer’s, CBS-6, and the Empire State Youth Orchestra and Chorale, Albany Med has been able to provide the medical and emotional support necessary to provide the very best care for our young patients and their families in a comfortable and nurturing environment. We are sincerely grateful.”

Albany Med’s pediatric cancer program employs a multi-disciplinary team consisting of four pediatric hematologist/oncologists, a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, highly trained chemotherapy nurses, a pediatric social worker, and a child life specialist. In addition, the program is supported by all of Albany Medical Center’s pediatric subspecialists. More than 700 children are seen on a yearly basis in this area for a wide range of cancers and blood disorders.

“The naming of the ‘Melodies Center’ is a wonderful tribute to the commitment that Price Chopper, Freihofer’s and CBS6 have made – and will continue to make – to the world class Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders programs at Albany Medical Center through the annual Melodies of Christmas performances,” said Neil Golub, president and CEO of Price Chopper. “It is a joy to support this annual holiday tradition that touches so many in our community while raising significant funds for the Medical Center,” he added.

“Freihofer’s is deeply honored and humbled to be a part of this very exciting announcement today,” said Mike Loscalzo, vice president of sales at Freihofer’s. “We have been a part of Melodies of Christmas since its inception 30 years ago and we are extremely committed to raising funds each year for the childhood cancer and blood disorder program at Albany Medical Center.”

Begun in 1980, the Melodies of Christmas four-day concert series, which features the Empire State Youth Orchestra and Chorale, has become one of the Medical Center’s largest fundraising initiatives and the largest out-of-studio television production between New York City and Montreal. In addition to the 10,000 attendees each year, tens of thousands of viewers tune in to the 90-minute special on WRGB CBS 6 shown on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“From the planning and staging to the shooting and editing, producing Melodies is a challenge CBS 6 looks forward to year after year. Showcasing the tremendously talented kids in the Empire State Youth Orchestra and Youth Chorale, Melodies has always been about kids helping kids, and I think that’s a big reason why our communities have so embraced it through generations,” said Lisa Jackson, CBS 6 news director and Melodies executive producer. “Melodies of Christmas is simply the people of our region working together at our very best, for a very good cause. We are immensely proud of this remarkable seasonal celebration, the great work it facilitates for children, and the tremendous honor Albany Med has bestowed in naming the center in honor of Melodies.”

Albany Medical Center is northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center. It consists of Albany Medical College, Albany Medical Center Hospital and the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc. Additional information about Albany Medical Center can be found at www.amc.edu

Seats are still available for this year’s Melodies of Christmas Performances at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady, NY.

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