Moffitt Cancer Center and Ringling College to Bring Virtual Reality to Cancer Patients

Technology collaboration to improve patient experience and enhance health care training capabilities

TAMPA, Fla, Sept. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cancer treatment is becoming more complex than ever before, which can cause significant fear, anxiety, and stress for patients; but, virtual reality has the potential to revolutionize the health care industry by easing those fears and helping to train students and physicians.

To tap into all virtual reality has to offer, Moffitt Cancer Center is teaming up with Ringling College of Art and Design. By combining resources, the two intuitions will focus on developing creative content for digital health care technologies, such as virtual reality, animations for patient education, and training videos. Delivering breakthroughs with new digital and data capabilities is a major component of Moffitt’s mission over the next 10 years, and partnering with Ringling College will help accelerate progress in research and patient care.

“The collaboration with Ringling College will focus on the patient journey and how we can create meaningful tools to help decrease stress, enhance understanding of upcoming treatments, and connect patients through survivor stories so they don’t feel so alone,” said Sarah Hoffe, M.D., Moffitt’s section head of Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology.

The partnership will prioritize projects for Ringling College students across all majors, which will expand career opportunities for those students and increase the amount of creative resources Moffitt can offer its patients.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to leverage the creativity and talents of Ringling College’s faculty, staff, and students toward making a difficult time a little easier for patients,” said Ringling College of Art and Design President Larry R. Thompson.

“While our instructors and students value the professional advancement this Collaboratory engagement presents for them, perhaps even more impactful is the prospect of using their creativity for a project that will help cancer patients,” said Angela Leed, Ringling College interim faculty project director for the Collaboratory.

Moffitt and Ringling will also explore the possibility of developing a virtual reality health care innovations lab, entering into joint research projects and publications, and establishing a technology lecture series where students and faculty can engage with each other. This teamwork has the potential to change how health care uses technology like virtual reality, looking well into the future of how patients and health care providers interact.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt is a Top 10 cancer hospital and has been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 3 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 6,500 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit, and follow the momentum on FacebookTwitter and YouTube

About Ringling College of Art and Design

Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit, fully-accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in eleven disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. 

About The Ringling College Collaboratory

Forward-thinking businesses come to The Ringling College Collaboratory with professional design challenges. It turns those challenges into legitimate projects and connects faculty and students with the opportunity to create innovative design solutions. The Collaboratory offers multiple ways to engage students and clients, from a one-day Immersive to a long-term, multi-semester engagement. The Collaboratory is a partnership between Ringling College of Art and Design and The Patterson Foundation. For more information, visit:

Photo Caption: From L-R: Dr. B. Lee Green, vice president, Moffitt Diversity, Public Relations & Strategic Communications; Dr. Douglas Letson, Moffitt physician-in-chief; Dr. Sarah Hoffe, section head, Moffitt GI Radiation Oncology; Dr. Larry R. Thompson, president, Ringling College of Art and Design; Dr. Jason Fleming, chair, Moffitt Gastrointestinal Oncology Program

Photo Credit: Rich Schineller, Ringling College of Art and Design

For more information, contact: 

Sara Bondell
Public Relations Coordinator, Moffitt Cancer Center

Megan Greenberg
Project Coordinator for The Collaboratory at Ringling College of Art and Design



Left to Right Dr. B. Lee Green , Dr. Douglas Letson, Dr. Sarah Hoffe, Dr. Larry R. Thompson, Dr. Jason Fleming