Collaborative care: your Support Team
Because a cancer diagnosis affects many areas of your life, our collaborative team concept of care means there are several individuals working together to ensure the needs of you and your family are met from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond to cancer survivorship.
Your Care Coordinator is your constant point of contact throughout the process, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. He or she will work to assess your needs, and take care of referrals within the team, including social workers, dieticians, psychiatry, pastoral care, exercise specialist and more. Care Coordinators are a great resource because they can pull together the programs and services available within the healthcare system in which they work as well as those available throughout the community. Most importantly, your Care Coordinator is here to listen, offering emotional support to you and your family and caregivers. Think of your Care Coordinator as a partner who is focused on your unique, individual care. Be honest with your Care Coordinator so they can make the appropriate referrals to support and enhance your care.
Questions for your Care Coordinator will help you know what questions or concerns you want to share with them so they can better meet your needs and concerns. You are not on this journey alone.
What does your Cancer Care Coordinator do for you?
- Serve as a point of contact for you, your family, and friends
- Facilitate coordination and timeliness of your care—ensuring the right place, right time, and right team members
- Communicate with all team members involved with your care, including physicians
- Provides education, insight, and support as to how cancer affects your life. This allows you to prepare for changing needs and the possible impact on your physical and emotional states
- Identify your needs and connect you with the appropriate services
Phone: (319) 363-8303
Andrea, Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center Cancer Care Coordinator, explains the team approach to patient care.
Oncology Social Worker: Support is available for you from a licensed counselor with a specialized certification to work with cancer patients and their families. She will provide emotional support to help you and your family cope with the changes in your lives, including addressing the specific support needs of your family caregivers and children/teens to improve your quality of life. She can also help connect you to community resources, address financial concerns and assist you with advance directives.
Cancer Exercise Specialist: We’re happy to have an exercise specialist on staff to help you with maintaining or regaining strength, stability and overall physical wellness. Individualized plans are developed according to your current health needs and your current treatment plan. Sessions can be one-on-one or small group settings.
Cancer Risk Assessment Counselor: As an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner specializing in cancer and genetics, our counselors will provide you with cancer risk assessment screening, genetic counseling and testing, and will help you understand the medical and psychological issues of having an inherited cancer. They can also provide insight on how genetic cancers affect the rest of your family.
Oncology Certified Dietitian: Our dietitians will be available to first assess your nutritional status and to design a nutrition plan to meet your needs. They offer counseling and support to help reduce side effects, and provide information on developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Radiation Cancer Care Team: Your doctors will work closely with our highly-skilled and caring radiation care team that has extensive experience to meet your cancer care needs. To learn more about our cancer team of experts click here.
Chaplain: Provide spiritual support to you and your family throughout your cancer journey. They can help you address faith related issues such as feeling disconnected to a higher power, defining hope and finding meaning in life. Our Chaplains can also assist with obtaining a Power of Attorney for Health Care and Advance Directives/Living Wills.
Certified Sex Therapist/Body Image Specialist: A counselor can meet with you to address how you view your body and changes that may have occurred as this can affect both your body image and intimacy. She can also help address treatment side-effects of sexual dysfunction such as loss of desire, pain with intercourse and erectile dysfunction.
Psychologist: Are available to assist you and your family with the challenges that can come from a cancer diagnosis and treatment. These challenges can have a significant effect on everyone involved and your life-long coping skills might not be enough to help you adjust to these changes in your lives.
Survivorship Clinic: Our clinic brings together the clinical support and wellness services you need to transition from active cancer treatment to wellness. Our advanced registered nurse practitioner reviews your entire course of treatment and works with you to develop a personalized plan to maintain and promote health, even years after your cancer treatment is complete.
Support Team Stories
- Part of Her Family – Cook Cancer Wellness Program “serves up” compassionate help Nassif Community Cancer Center was in its infancy when Pam Towe was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2009. “The wellness program was getting started at just the right time for me,” Towe recalls. That summer, she was asked to take part in a new offering—working out at the cancer center with a personal trainer. An ... Read more