The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) will celebrate the establishment of two funds - one to support pediatric hematology and oncology patients, and the other to support nurses that care for them. Both will be announced at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 4, at a special event in the UNMH Tully Conference Room in the Barbara and Bill Richardson Pavilion. 

Retired Air Force Maj. Timothy S. Sikora and his wife, Roseann, both retired from nursing, knew they wanted to do something that would continue to help the patients they cared for, while honoring the many individuals and families who touched their lives. “Throughout our careers, we had the privilege of caring for children in dire medical need,” Roseann Sikora said. “We want to honor and thank every patient, family member, nurse and doctor who touched our lives. They are the inspiration for creating these funds.”

The Sikora Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disease Outreach Fund will help provide specialized continuing education for nursing staff and education for patients and families. This fund also will provide resources for nurses and nurse practitioners from UNM’s Department of Pediatrics Division of Hematology & Oncology to travel and provide outreach to families and medical care professionals. 

The Major Timothy S. Sikora, USAF, Retired, BSN, and Roseann M. Sikora, BSN, Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses Professional Development Fund helps support professional development for nurses caring for UNMH pediatric oncology, hematologic and hemophilia patients under the care of the Division of Hematology and Oncology within the Department of Pediatrics.

“Roseann and I both know from experience that additional education is paramount to being able to provide the best care available to patients,” Tim Sikora said. “Sometimes the funds are not available to obtain the necessary education to increase a nurse's skill set. It is our hope that the professional development fund will benefit nurses who pursue advanced skills to provide care to this very special group of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology patients.”

“We are honored with this gift,” said John Kuttesch, MD, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology division chief. “The Sikoras’ generosity will benefit our nurses, our patients and their families.” To support The Sikora Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disease Outreach Fund, visit https://www.unmfund.org/fund/sikora/. To support The Major Timothy S. Sikora, USAF, Retired, BSN, and Roseann M. Sikora, BSN, Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses Professional Development Fund, please contact Megan Dugan, director of development for UNM School of Medicine and UNM Health Sciences Center, at (505) 277-0322 or megan.dugan@unmfund.org.

To learn more about the UNM Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, visit http://hospitals.unm.edu/mds/unmch/divisions/hematology_oncology.shtml. For more information about UNM Hospitals, visit http://hospitals.unm.edu/about/.