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Focus on the Child

How is St. Jude child-focused?

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is dedicated to the treatment of cancer in children, and only children. Therefore, when you come to St. Jude for the first time, you will find a hospital and staff that has only one focus — the child.


Our staff strives to ensure that each child has as much "normalcy" as possible. St. Jude was designed with this in mind as our entire facility has only 78 inpatient beds. St. Jude pioneered the concept that hospital confinement for childhood cancers is necessary only in critical cases. Most care is delivered on an outpatient basis. So even if treatment requires children and their families to stay in Memphis, it does not usually require them to be in the hospital for long periods of time. When children are at the hospital during the day for various appointments, we have activity rooms filled with toys, games and computers to help pass the time and allow them to play and interact with other children.


St. Jude represents a unique family and a unique approach to patient care. The entire staff — from the hospital director to computer technicians to employees who clean patients' rooms — is dedicated to one thing: helping children, more specifically, children with cancer. St. Jude employees have dedicated their careers to helping patients and their families. 

Patients, doctors, nurses and researchers are located on the same campus. Physicians work with researchers to translate discoveries made in the laboratory into patient treatments. The institution has a wide range of specialists to help families cope with the challenges of fighting a life-threatening pediatric illness. Social workers, psychologists and pastoral caregivers help patients and families deal with the emotional effects. Staff dentists, ophthalmologists, physical therapists, speech therapists and dietitians treat the physical effects of therapy. 


We want you to know as much as possible about your child’s illness and will spend as much time as needed throughout this process to make sure you are informed and comfortable every step of the way. We also want you, as a parent, to be able to provide as much of your child’s daily care as possible, so we will teach you all you need to know to make that a reality.

The St. Jude Family Information Library also provides the materials, services, and facility necessary to meet the current and future reference (medical & general) and recreational reading needs of parents and family members of patients. Special emphasis is placed on offering medical, consumer health, and cancer materials; general reference materials, video movies, and popular reading materials, such as paperback fictions and current magazines. Collection management and administration of the library policy/procedures is the responsibility of the Director of the Biomedical Library. The collection of the Family Information library is designed for the lay person.