Holistic approach includes support, nutrition counseling, stress management and integrative therapies for patients and survivors
CHICAGO (May 9, 2014) – Breast cancer patients and survivors on Chicago’s north side have access to a new Swedish Covenant Hospital program which can improve their health and quality of life, thanks to funding support from two grants.
The Breast Cancer Survivorship Program provides women with access to services and programs that can help them achieve their personal health and wellness goals. Whether they have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, or have transitioned into long-term survivorship, the program is designed to help patients and survivors find support and access a variety of necessary health services.
“There is substantial research that demonstrates the value of comprehensive support services for cancer survivors,” says Daria Zvetina, director of foundation and corporate relations at Swedish Covenant Hospital Foundation
. “The program was designed in consultation with cancer survivors, and it provides the services they told us they most valued—which also happen to be those that research says are most beneficial.”
A central tenet of the program is that cancer “survivorship” occurs at all stages following a diagnosis, and that more support is needed to help patients successfully navigate their personal challenges with breast cancer.
The Swedish Covenant Hospital Breast Cancer Survivorship Program is made possible with generous grant support, including: a $67,500 grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure Grant Program; and, a $75,000 grant from the Chicago Affiliate of Susan G. Komen®, a portion of which goes to breast cancer survivor navigation.
Individuals in the program have access to a variety of services that target the mind and body. The program includes:
- A breast cancer support group. Led by an experienced health psychologist, the support group is an opportunity for patients and survivors to share experiences, hope and healing with others in a comfortable, small-group setting.
- Nutrition counseling. Nutrition assessments and counseling can help program participants make healthy and appropriate dietary choices.
- Stress reduction seminars. Five-week stress reduction seminars will cover topics such as identifying stressors, mindfulness and breathing exercises, body awareness, muscle relaxation and other coping resources.
Additionally, the program will draw upon the resources of Galter LifeCenter
, Chicago’s premiere medical fitness facility, to provide participants with access to exercise and fitness coaching that can improve their quality of life and reduce fatigue. The program also includes integrative therapies such as massage and acupuncture.
The Swedish Covenant Hospital Cancer Center
plans to use the Breast Cancer Survivorship Program as a model for other wellness and support programs throughout the center, covering a wide range of cancer types, including prostate, lung, ovarian and colon cancer. “Our goal is to use the breast cancer program as a model for expanding to create a comprehensive cancer survivorship support system for all Swedish Covenant Hospital cancer patients,” says Zvetina.
About Galter LifeCenter
Galter LifeCenter is Chicago’s premier medical fitness center and a proud member of the Medical Fitness Association. Its services go far beyond those of a traditional fitness center by focusing on medical fitness and partnering with health professionals at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Galter LifeCenter’s professional staff, clean and safe environment, health risk screening procedures and clinical integration allow members to safely set and reach their health and fitness goals.