THRIVE – Tools for Healing, Resiliency, Information, Vitality and Empowerment

The long-term follow-up program at the Heller Center for Kids with Cancer is known as the THRIVE Program, (Tools for Healing, Resiliency, Information, Vitality and Empowerment). It designed to address the ongoing medical and psychosocial needs of patients treated in our oncology clinic. Patients are eligible for THRIVE once they are off therapy for five years. They will continue to be seen annually until they are 18 years old or off therapy for 10 years, whichever occurs later.

The First Five Years

During the first five years after the completion of treatment, the patient will be followed closely by their primary oncologist based on the follow-up needs dictated by treatment. They will receive regular follow-up appointments, treatment summary and resources for support. Prior to the end of treatment the psychosocial team will prepare families for this transition and will continue to support and educate until they enter the THRIVE clinic. The team will provide education, resources and support specifically designed to assist families as they adjust to life after cancer treatment, facilitate transition to primary care,  provide guidelines to know when to call the oncology clinic, support for “scanxiety,” (anxiety of follow-up labs/scans) and fear of relapse.  

The THRIVE Program

Once the patient reaches the five-year mark, they will be transitioned into long term follow up at the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic where the THRIVE doctor, nurse and advanced practice registered nurse will take over their medical care. The psychosocial team will continue to follow and support them for long-term needs such as education, school needs, counseling, sibling support, college and career, insurance and resources. The goal of our THRIVE program is to support, educate and empower patients with the tools to manage their health care for a lifetime.

THRIVE Team

Our THRIVE patients will be served by the following team members:

Brinda Mehta, MD, THRIVE Medical Director

Prerna Kumar, MD

Beth Speckhart, RN, MSN, APN, CPHON

Susan Gaitros, FNP-C, CPHON

Kristen Dotson, BSN, RN, CPHON

Chelsey Irving, BSN, RN

John Venzon, LMSW

Allison West, MS, CCLS

Laura Stone, MA, MS, LPC, NCC

Haleigh Gill, RN

Shelley Lee, CCLS