PARKERSBURG - The American Cancer Society in Parkersburg partnered with Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital to open a new Cancer Outreach Center at the hospital at the end of 2010, as part of CCMH's Community Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The Cancer Outreach Center, located in the hospital's Medical Office Building B, offers services like wigs, prosthetics, cancer apparel and specially trained beautician, cosmetologist and massage services.
The Cancer Society has a specialist on staff in the center, called a patient navigator, who is able to begin working with cancer patients at the hospital much earlier in the process to help direct them toward services, resources and programs beneficial to them, said community manager Carmen Hathaway with the Cancer Society.
Photo by Wayne Towner
Judy Dunfee is coordinator for scheduling at the Cancer Outreach Center, which opened in January at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital as a joint project of CCMH’s Community Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Parkersburg chapter of the American Cancer Society.
"We're hoping with the addition of this resource center, that we'll be able reach that many more patients so they can come to us for additional resources. By being right here in the hospital, near the oncology department and near the doctors' offices, we hope that we can be easily seen by patients and increase those we help," she said.
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. The National Cancer Information Center can be reached by calling 1-800-Cancer Society-2345.
Hathaway said the national information center is staffed at all hours throughout the year. There is also much information available on the Internet at www.cancer.org.
The local office offers a variety of services in several area counties, including Wood, Wirt, Jackson, Mason, Calhoun, Ritchie, Roane, Pleasants, Tyler and Wetzel.
The Cancer Society works primarily in the areas of cancer control and income development. Cancer control involves the various services provided through the Cancer Society to cancer patients, caregivers and survivors.
Some of the local services include: "Reach to Recovery," a program offering one-on-one visitation for women with breast cancer who have had or will have a lumpectomy, mastectomy or recurrence; "Man to Man," which involves education and support groups for men with prostate cancer; "Road to Recovery," where volunteer drivers provide transportation for cancer patients to treatment and doctor visits; "Look Good...Feel Better," where volunteer cosmetologists provide workshops on how to enhance appearance; and others.
The Cancer Society also works on issues like early detection and prevention, patient service and education programs and work with many medical facilities and businesses in the area on wellness, education, treatment and support.
Fundraisers like the annual Relay for Life and other events are a vital part of the American Cancer Society's mission to find a cure for cancer and provide support for those dealing with cancer and their families and friends. During 2010, Hathaway said community support remained strong for the cancer society, although there was a small downturn in finances and the year's fundraisers experienced a decrease in amounts raised and participation from previous years.
"As far as finances go, we were down this year. The economy hit us pretty hard. During some of our fundraisers, we had some pretty bad weather and things like that. Things were a little bit tougher this year," she said.
The 2010 Wood County Relay for Life raised $270,797, the annual golf tourney in June raised $11,200 and the Williamstown Relay for Life in August raised over $56,000, she said, all down slightly from previous years' totals.
Hathaway believes the pressures of the past three years and the overall economic downturn have been having an impact. People are still supportive of programs like the Cancer Society but are keeping a closer eye on what they give, in terms of both time and money, she said.
Looking ahead at 2011, the Cancer Society is taking a wait-and-see attitude but already has a lot of teams registered for this year's Relay events and Hathaway hopes that will be a positive indicator for the year ahead.
The 2011 Wood County Relay for Life will be May 13 and 14 and the Williamstown Relay will be Aug. 5 and 6.
Looking ahead at the coming year, Hathaway said the Cancer Society will continue to focus efforts on raising funds for cancer research and programs through the Relay activities and other events and on the new outreach center to reach more patients.