FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information:
Samantha Kirby, Public Relations Senior Associate, IU Health, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Barada, President & CEO, Bloomington Health Foundation, email@example.com
Eric Richards, President & CEO, Cancer Support Community Central Indiana, firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizations Partnering to Provide Free Mental Health Care to Local Cancer Patients
Indianapolis, IN – Beginning August 3, local oncology patients and their families will have increased access to a broad range of psychosocial services. Bloomington Health Foundation, Cancer Support Community Central Indiana, and IU Health South Central Region are coordinating efforts to provide free virtual programming for those impacted by cancer in Monroe County and surrounding communities.
The Central Indiana affiliate of the national organization, Cancer Support Community, will provide the licensed and credentialed programming building upon 25 years of experience of offering services in Central Indiana. President and CEO Eric Richards said that these services are more crucial than ever due to the impact of COVID-19.
“Social isolation is challenging enough for so many after a diagnosis and the impact of the COVD-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this concern. That is why it is especially exciting to be partnering with the Bloomington Health Foundation and IU Health Bloomington Hospital to provide unique and critical virtual support services to those who need it from the comfort of their homes and all completely free of charge,” said Richards.
Those seeking services can self-refer or receive referrals from IU Health physicians and staff. Terri Acton, IU Health Olcott Center Nurse Manager and Clinical Educator, said the collaboration will allow the IU Health Olcott Center Nurse Navigators to reach an increased number of cancer patients in the community. Acton said, “transferring the non-clinical support services to Cancer Support Community will allow cancer patients across the entire South-Central Region the opportunity to access an expanded menu of resources and services.”
Funding for the programming will be provided by the Bloomington Health Foundation, in part from their annual 5k fundraiser Hoosiers Outrun Cancer. The Foundation recently shared that due to COVID-19, the 21st running of the race on September 26 would be held virtually. Over the past 20 years, Hoosiers Outrun Cancer has raised nearly $4 million in support of cancer patient needs beyond clinical care.
“Hoosiers Outrun Cancer and Bloomington Health Foundation have been dedicated to supporting local cancer patients and their families for over two decades,” said BHF President and CEO Jon Barada. “We are proud to partner and be able to offer these critical services at no cost to the community.”
The free virtual cancer support services will include:
- Newcomer Meetings
- Weekly Men’s Support Group
- Monthly Women’s Support Group
- Twice per month Living With Cancer Group
- Twice per month Living With Loss Group
- Weekly Strength in Sisterhood Group
- Twice per month Prostate Group
- Monthly cooking class
- Monthly educational programs
- Weekly art support therapy
- YouTube videos and resources
- Cancer Support Helpline
- Access to Cancer Support Source distress screener
- Access to www.mylifeline.org
- Individual counseling
According to the Indiana Cancer Consortium, approximately two in five Hoosiers now living will eventually have cancer. Additionally, the most recent Monroe County Community Health Assessment states that cancer is consistently one of the top two causes of death in Monroe County.
Richards said, “This is just the start to what we hope will lead to a larger presence in and around south-central Indiana and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve patients and their families in this region of the state.”
About Bloomington Health Foundation
Bloomington Health Foundation (BHF) has been the local philanthropic expert for improving community health for more than 50 years. BHF invests support in partnership with the people and organizations of our community by convening, seeking input, and leveraging existing assets to implement innovative, evidence-based solutions to our community’s health needs. Since 2018, BHF has committed $2.7 million to impact health in Bloomington and beyond.
Learn more about joining the movement for a healthier tomorrow at bloomhf.org or register for Hoosiers Outrun Cancer at HoosiersOutrunCancer.org.
About Cancer Support Community Central Indiana
Cancer Support Community (CSC), servicing Central Indiana for the past 25 years, was founded as The Wellness Community-Central Indiana in 1995. Operating from the Paulsen Family Center, 5150 W. 71st St., Indianapolis, CSC is a member of a global organization that provides the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer through a network of 50 licensed Affiliates, more than 120 satellite locations and vibrant online and telephone communities, touching more than one million people each year worldwide.
About IU Health South Central Region
A private, nonprofit organization, Indiana University Health is Indiana’s largest comprehensive health system and is comprised of hospitals, physicians and allied services dedicated to providing preeminent care throughout Indiana and beyond. Our unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. iuhealth.org