Your Dollars, Making an Impact: OhioHealth’s Treatment & Survivorship Support Program

Ever wonder how your donation dollars help? Where does the money go and who does it directly help? Komen Columbus has a proud tradition of partnering with many organizations to help men and women who are underserved and uninsured in our 30-county service area. This year alone, we granted nearly $2 million to support 34 programs in Central and Southeastern Ohio communities. This milestone moment would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors, Race participants and all those people who give to Komen Columbus. For the next few weeks, we will feature our grantees so you can see and read how your dollars are making an impact.

Guest Writer: Rebecca Hudson

Anyone diagnosed with cancer will tell you that after hearing the initial news, you seldom hear the rest of the conversation. After emotionally sifting through the news, your options and your life, the last thing you are thinking of is the price tag it will cost to keep you alive.

As you feel more and more out of control, your physician reaches out to you, and calmly explains the OhioHealth’s Treatment and Survivorship Support Program, funded by a Komen Columbus grant. For the 2012-2013 grant year, the program will provide financial assistance to approximately 150 women, including those who are under or uninsured..

“The survivorship support program goes beyond the clinical to offer personalized care, an essential component of the continuum of care,” explains Pam Rudmose, breast health nurse and the project director for the Treatment and Survivorship Support Program since 2007. “We aim to support patients’ physical and emotional health to improve the quality of life and, ultimately, breast cancer outcomes.”

Pam further explains that the financial assistance from the Komen grant, Medicaid and other sources provides patient support for program resources including:
•    Breast prostheses
•    Wigs
•    Lymphedema supplies
•    Medications
•    Transportation
•    Massotherapy
•    Psychotherapy
•    Nutrition counseling
•    Exercise classes

Program services are available  throughout all OhioHealth Central Ohio locations.

The backbone of this support program are OhioHealth’s trained breast health nurse “navigators,” who focus on reducing anxiety and increasing commitment during and after breast cancer treatment.

It’s personal
Pam understands the value of offering personalized care. As the primary caregiver for her mother-in-law who passed away from breast cancer ten years ago, Pam found the need to bridge the gap between diagnosis and treatment crucial. “The whole experience is so stressful,” she emphasized.

Bethany Golden, owner of Over My Head, OhioHealth’s breast health boutique, changed the direction of her career as a result of her personal experience with her mother’s breast cancer. After pursuing a career in fashion design in New York following her graduation from The Ohio State University, Bethany returned to Columbus to care for her mother during her fight with breast cancer, a fight she lost ten years ago.

After specialized training, she now fits breast cancer patients with wigs.

“My message to all those who are fighting breast cancer is you are not alone,” she says, adding, “And, there is no reason not to feel beautiful.”

For more information on the Treatment and Support Program benefits and programs, click here. Read about other Komen Columbus Community Health Grantees here.