According to American Cancer Society’s 2012 statistics, one in every two men and one in every three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
Over the course of this year, 2013, approximately 100,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed within the state of Florida alone. Those numbers are overwhelming in print. However, for those actually diagnosed, the time that follows this information is often crowded with fear and great concern; both for patients and their loved ones.
For more than 11 years, the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami (CSCGM) has helped over 21,000 people impacted by cancer improve their quality of life by providing free educational and emotional support programs. CSCGM is part of an international organization that is the merging of The Wellness Community– National and Gilda’s Club Worldwide.
Since 2010 these two organizations are now one operating as the Cancer Support Community (CSC) with their world affiliate headquarters in Washington, DC. CSC is considered to be the worldwide leader in psychosocial oncology and their local Miami affiliate works in conjunction with South Florida’s leading oncology professionals and cancer centers.
In keeping with the core mission to provide the most comprehensive psychosocial oncology care, CSCGM recently applied for, and was awarded, a $30,000 grant from The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation. These funds have been earmarked to bring the CSC National Program, CancerSupportSource (CSS) to Miami-Dade participants.
“We are grateful to The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation for this generous grant,” said Danielle Spiegelman, Cancer Support Community Greater Miami executive director. “As a member of South Florida healthcare community, the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami is committed to providing patient-centered care in the face of a cancer diagnosis. These funds assist our efforts as we strive to deliver and advance quality care for the newly diagnosed and those living with cancer in our community.
CSC National has developed the first comprehensive distress screening program created specifically for the Cancer Support Communities worldwide, communitybased hospitals, physician practices and advocacy organizations to integrate screening, referral and follow-up care, through a single, streamlined, program. Grant funds from The Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation will be used to implement this cutting edge program at the local level.
Routine screening for social and emotional distress is a key component to comprehensive quality cancer care and is a recommendation of the 2008 Institute of Medicine’s Report, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient, Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs. Additionally, it is part of the new patient standards from the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer, which states that beginning in 2015, all cancer patients must be screened for distress if seen in an accredited cancer center. CancerSupportSource helps cancer centers meet those critical standards easily and effectively.