LMH Health Cancer Center program provides comprehensive survivorship care

Published on May 16, 2022

LMH Health Cancer Center Survivor

LMH Health Cancer Center program provides comprehensive survivorship care

With the national population of cancer survivors growing, there’s an increasing need to provide comprehensive cancer survivorship care to people living with and through their diagnosis. The vision of the LMH Health Cancer Center’s survivorship program is to develop a comprehensive, whole-person model of survivorship care across the continuum of cancer care.

A full-time nurse navigator position was needed for the program to launch. A generous gift from the late Frank Becker and his wife, Barbara, helped fund this position. When it was first established, Frank had been at the LMH Health Cancer Center for a little more than four years. He said supporting the survivorship program and funding the position was a natural choice.

“LMH Health has grown into an outstanding cancer treatment center,” Becker said in a 2018 interview. “Anytime I’ve visited, I’ve never heard anyone say a discouraging word. I’ve grown to see how good LMH Health is, and it needs a little extra help from all of us.”

Amy Shealy, RN, started working as the survivorship program’s nurse navigator in 2020 and her position is still funded through gifts to the survivorship fund at the LMH Health Foundation. The daughter of two nurses, Shealy enjoys developing relationships with the LMH Health Cancer Center patients through their survivorship journey.

“I love our patients and knowing that I’m part of someone’s story,” Shealy said. “I’m glad to provide them with comfort and be the person they turn to in a very scary moment in their life.”

A Partnership with the Masonic Cancer Alliance

The LMH Health Cancer Center team, alongside the Masonic Cancer Alliance, created a comprehensive survivorship care plan given to patients at their first appointment after treatment has ended. The plan outlines the important details about the patient’s journey, from their first diagnosis to their last treatment, including medications, dosages and surgery dates. The vision for a survivorship program, though created through teamwork and collaboration, really originated from patient-driven feedback and a deep need for a program like this.

The survivorship team also provides a detailed care plan, outlining everything a survivor needs to do moving forward. The survivorship team continues to meet with survivors through the weeks, months and years after treatment to help make sure the survivors stay on track in all aspects of their health, from keeping up with medications and regular preventative exams to checking in on their mental health.

“We are the bridge between the final cancer treatment and life afterward,” Shealy said. “The survivorship team brings it all together and looks at each person holistically to make sure they stay healthy.”

Cancer care close to home

Shealy wants people to know that the LMH Health Cancer Center has great resources and that community members do not have to drive an hour away for treatment.

“I’ve seen the ‘big guns’, and I know our community hospital can do just as great a job at cancer treatment,” Shealy said. “We have five wonderful physicians who treat all types of cancer, and everyone works as a team. You always feel like you’re welcome here. It has been such a great experience coming to LMH Health.”

The survivorship program has been seeing patients and proving holistic care since 2018. Through the past four years, the program has been able to grow and add on, including welcoming two additional nurse navigators to the team. Shealy now specifically sees breast cancer survivors and the additional navigators handle all other cancers.

“Breast cancer patients make up over half of what we see in our oncology department,” Shealy said. “Being able to grow and expand the dedicated team has been amazing. As navigators, we do not collaborate with just one oncology doctor, but all five that we have at the LMH Health Cancer Center. We have clearly seen the great need for a program like this and have enjoyed watching it grow.”

Patients do not have to travel far from home to receive exceptional cancer treatment. The LMH Health Cancer Center—a regional destination for progressive, integrated hematology and oncology care—earned official accreditation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons. This accreditation, which is only awarded to institutions that can demonstrate a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases, followed a rigorous, two-year survey process that monitored protocols, treatments and outcomes in LMH Health’s cancer care units. LMH Health joins just eleven other hospitals in Kansas with this distinguished accreditation.

Personalize cancer care

Jodie Barr, DO

Jodie Barr, DO

“We have a very personal touch with our patients here,” said Jodie Barr, DO, a physician at the LMH Health Cancer Center. “With our great nursing staff, I’d rank it as one of the top in the country. Our patients have a sense of comfort when they come in for treatment and that’s because of our team. From clinical trials to high-risk and genetic screening, the personal care and connection is what also sets LMH Health apart from the rest. LMH is a beacon of hope for all community members, regardless of their ability to afford care.”

Funded by generous community support

Healthcare in the United States can come at a staggering cost to patients, and oncology care is no exception. As a community-owned, not-for-profit hospital, LMH Health serves the health care needs of the community regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Last year, LMH Health provided $35 million in financial assistance and charitable care.

Generous community support over the years through the LMH Health Foundation has helped strengthen the LMH Health Cancer Center. Recently, donors have provided more than $3.25 million in funding for planned expansion and renovation for the center, which is anticipated to cost $7-10 million.

“The center has the providers, programs and technology to provide healthcare that’s not only exceptional for a community hospital—it’s among the best anywhere,” said Rebecca Smith, LMH Health vice president of strategic communication and LMH Health Foundation executive director. “The planned expansion will ensure our facilities reflect the extraordinarily high level of care provided therein.”

Dr. Barr said it’s clear the community stands behind LMH Health, ensuring the very best for oncology patients. “We are who we are because the community supports this hospital, and we are able to take care of everyone.”

hope is closer than you think

Hope is closer than you think.

Experience hope and healing when you choose LMH Health for personalized cancer care and treatment. You’ll get exceptional care close to home and the support of your loved ones.

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