Recently, nursing staff and leadership of 4 East brought up concerns during Lean Daily Management and in Department Huddles about the experiences of inpatients on their unit who were told they had cancer. During a follow-up meeting, one of our own team members shared her experience of receiving a cancer diagnosis as an inpatient at UMC and the emotions she felt afterwards. We all knew we needed to do more to support patients in the immediate time period after they hear the words “you have cancer.”
That’s where CancerConnect comes in.
The UMC CancerConnect Program will connect newly diagnosed cancer patients with a volunteer peer-support advocate who is a cancer survivor. The advocate will meet with the patient shortly after the diagnosis to provide emotional support and comfort from a cancer patient’s perspective. The goal is to ease the patient’s sense of anxiety and isolation during this very emotional time period.
We need your help!
Be a UMC Ambassador by volunteering to be a peer-support advocate. We are now accepting applications from UMC and TTUHSC employees who are cancer survivors and at least one year out from their last cancer treatment. You can apply on the UMC Intranet.
If you are selected as an advocate, you will meet with the patient at least once during their hospitalization but may meet more than once depending on patient request. You will also provide information to connect the patient after hospital discharge with a Cancer Support Group at UMC or in the community. And per our current process, a clinical handoff will take place from 4 East to the UMC Cancer Center.
The CancerConnect Program will start April 1st.