Published on March 30, 2012

Patient-centered care at Genesis Cancer Care Institute

High-touch as important as high-tech

For celebrity Chef Curtis Stone, the dinner table has always been a place of joy and happiness. Food prepared with love nurtures families and relationships.

It’s not unlike the support services that Genesis Cancer Care Institute and Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities provide to cancer patients and their families, he said. Compassion and support are vital ingredients to feeding their needs and fueling them along the cancer journey.

Stone helped celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Genesis Cancer Care Institute by congratulating Genesis and Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities on a relationship offering patients and their caregivers the social, emotional and educational components that make living with cancer more manageable.

“It’s really incredible what you all are doing here,” Stone said. “With all the thought and love that goes into it, it’s not only the patient you’re helping but also the network around them.”

Since plans for the Genesis Cancer Care Institute were unveiled in April 2008, new technology, renovations and an expansion of existing cancer care facilities have followed. It was the support services for patients and their families that were the focus of this year’s anniversary, however.

“The technology and innovations we’ve brought here have made Genesis a national destination for cancer care. But we’re not only high-tech, we’re also high-touch,” said Ken Croken, V.P. of Corp. Comm. and Business Development. “We embrace patients not just as people with a disease but as people with lives. We’re focused on survivorship.”

The partnership between Genesis and Gilda’s Club has been key to the program’s success, he said.

Gilda’s Club Executive Director Claudia Robinson agreed: “Our partnership with Genesis has been so instrumental in successful treatment for patients. We really believe that together we can make cancer a better journey.”

Expanded support services have included oncology rehabilitation, cancer nurse navigators, nutrition, social services, on-site complementary care, spiritual care and Camp Genesis for youngsters dealing with cancer in the family. Outpatient oncology dietitian Amanda Wilson helps ensure patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy receive the proper nutrition, for example.

Last year, an anonymous donor gave $1 million to the institute to meet the needs of cancer patients and their caregivers. The donation is helping to support programs like a couples retreat for breast cancer survivors, a class for caregivers and a program to help cancer patients transition back to regular life.

“We have the latest, greatest technology... We have wonderful, compassionate staff... but what we really are proud of and what we want to focus on today is our support services,” said Sally Werner, Director of the Genesis Cancer Care Institute. “We are honored and blessed every day to work with Gilda’s Club and to take care of Quad City-area residents who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis.”

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