Healing at Home

A rural cancer survivorship program

CMH was recently awarded a grant that will allow it to build a cancer survivorship program to help people with the transition from cancer treatment to life after cancer.

The grant is one of 13 awarded by the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program for 2018. This is the second grant that the program has awarded CMH.

Cancer care does not end when treatment ends. Survivors are often left with aftereffects from cancer treatments and questions about what they can and should do as they return to “normal life.” The project, “Healing at Home”, aims to create a rural cancer survivorship program that focuses on cancer surveillance, cancer prevention, lifestyle changes, and emotional and social needs.

“We are working to make sure our rural patients are supported after their treatment ends and have access to the support systems they need in order to attain the best quality of life beyond cancer,” said Resource Center Coordinator Venus Fromwiller.

In 2016, CMH piloted the program with nine women who had completed breast cancer treatment. The goal was to help participants improve their quality-of-life, physical health, and to make recommended changes in their diet and activity.

Participants met regularly with a registered dietician and physical therapist, and checked-in with a health coach. The group reported positive changes in their lives and gave recommendations on ways to improve the program in the future.

Read about participant Rosetta Hurley’s experience.

Using the results and feedback from the first study, CMH has modified the program and will launch it with a group of 20 survivors in 2018. Participants will have completed curative treatment breast, colorectal, small cell lung and non-small cell lung, or diffuse B-cell lymphoma cancer.

The second phase of the project will expand its focus to include social and emotional supports, physical activity and nutrition interventions. Participants will receive documents that detail the treatments they have received and recommendation for moving forward. A social worker will recommend an array of supports/classes that would be of benefit. They will have meetings w/ and access to oncology dietician and physical therapist. They will be contacted regularly and have support of a health coach over the six-month study period.

Recruitment for the study will begin later this year.