OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center Cancer Support Services helps cancer patients and their families effectively manage the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatment and recovery.
Those support services are now located in one convenient location in downtown Peoria in the Illinois Medical Center, 1001 Main St., Ste. 107.
In existence for several years, OSF Cancer Support Services had been fragmented, providing services at different locations in and around OSF Saint Francis, said Tenille Oderwald, supervisor of nursing, patient care.
The new location, which opened in mid-March 2018, enables patients to come to one location to receive the support they need.
Sabra Burress, MA, LCPC, a counselor with OSF Cancer Support Services, said the move has been a good one for patients.
“The patients have expressed positive feedback about the move,” she said. “The building access and parking is close, so patients don’t have to walk long distances.”
Having services, such as access to clinical and financial navigators, dietitians, classes, support groups, education and more, in one location means a better patient experience, said Tom Cox, director of radiology, radiation therapy and cancer services.
Burress agrees, further explaining the move also has helped improve communication among members of the Cancer Support Services team.
“Team members are better able to communicate immediately and handoff patients to one another,” she said. “It’s also nice to be in a building with the physicians that many of our patients see.”
Care tailored to a patient’s needs
OSF Cancer Support Services helps patients and families navigate through the cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery process. The belief is the more the patient understands and participates in their care, the more they become part of their own health care team.
- Specifically, patients and their families can find the following supportive care:
- Oncology psychosocial care
- Information on living with cancer
- Social and emotional support
- Social connectedness
- Education programs designed to empower
- Wellness programs aimed at strengthening one’s mind as well as their body
- Nutritional guidance
- Financial support
- Nurse navigators
“We really want to be there for patients during every aspect of their cancer treatment throughout the continuum of care,” Oderwald said. “A cancer diagnosis is hard. We want to be their solid support throughout their journey – all the way to survivorship.”
Cox said it’s important for people in the community to know there’s help available if they or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer.
“A cancer diagnosis turns a person’s life upside down. With this move, and in partnership with all of the providers, we are able to centralize the process of receiving support and not have it be so fragmented,” Cox said. “It’s about making the path through the cancer journey as easy as possible for the patient and their family.”