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New CARE Center offers cancer patients comprehensive support

Describing it as a “dream come true,” Dr. Michael Hayes thanked donors for their support during a June 22 webinar that marked the opening of the Cancer Assistance and Resource Education (CARE) Center in Penn State Cancer Institute.

“In the CARE Center we are dedicated to ensuring each patient receives the comprehensive care they need, not only tailored to their biology, but also to the unique circumstances they face,” said Hayes, the founding program director. “What we do in the CARE Center is rooted in a heartfelt spirit of welcoming everyone wherever they may be in their journey with cancer.”

Located on the second floor of the Cancer Institute at 400 University Drive in Hershey, the center provides many of the resources cancer patients need through and beyond their treatment in one location. It also represents the institute’s pledge to see and care for the whole person, providing the physical, emotional, social, spiritual and educational support needed to achieve what matters most to them.

Dr. Raymond Hohl, director of Penn State Cancer Institute, told participants in the webinar that as a practicing medical oncologist, he recognizes the center is a critical resource for patients.

“It is evident to me that patients and family members need things that are not readily accessible in routine clinical spaces,” he said. “Dr. Hayes has done an incredibly brilliant job of advancing those needs to us in the CARE Center.”

Delivered in a private environment and coordinated across multiple disciplines, the CARE Center offers a variety of support services:

  • Practical ― employment, education, housing and transportation
  • Family – individual, couple, family, parenting, caregiving and eldercare resources
  • Emotional – anxiety- and mood-related issues, stress and coping, grief and loss, patient and family support groups and individual and group psychotherapy
  • Spiritual – chaplain and spiritual support
  • Physical – information and resources for disease and treatment-related side effects, nutrition and exercise programs, palliative medicine referrals, and a self-service genetic screening kiosk
  • Complementary – whole-person care for the body, mind and spirit, including SurviveWELL and the Center Stage Arts in Health program
  • Educational – health- and treatment-related information, including web-based conferencing and patient-friendly kiosks

Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the center is accessible to patients through self-referral or with a direct referral from a provider or care team member. Call 1-888-531-6585, option 4, for more information.

A room in the CARE Center includes a couch, four chairs, two tables, and a TV on the wall. It overlooks a courtyard with tables and umbrellas.

The CARE Center is located on the second floor of Penn State Cancer Institute.

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