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Caring for the Whole Patient

Supportive Care Center opens in Med Inn Building

patient and caregiver
Learn more about the services at the Supportive Care Center

The Supportive Care Center houses PsychOncology, the Skills Lab and the Symptom Management & Palliative Care Program.

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center recently opened the Supportive Care Center to help patients better manage the side effects, psychological impact and logistical aspects of cancer.

The center, which is on Level 3 of the Med Inn Building, houses the Psych-Oncology Clinic, the Skills Lab and a new Symptom Management & Palliative Care Program. The program was launched this spring to provide additional assistance for patients with difficult side effects or end-oflife concerns.

"The goal is to provide a one-stop, multidisciplinary approach for handling the supportive needs of our cancer patients," said Karen Hammelef, director of Patient & Family Support Services. "People often think of supportive care as a nice thing to do, but not essential. Research has shown us, though, that supportive care is just as important as treating the disease. Our patients expect to maintain quality of life, and that's what our center aims to do."

The Symptom Management & Palliative Care Program works in concert with patients' oncology teams to develop a plan to address medication management for symptom control, anemia, wound management, pain services, physical or occupational therapy, cancer nutrition, the psychological impact of cancer and integrative medicine.

The Supportive Care Center also houses the Skills Lab, a clinic dedicated to helping educate patients about chemotherapy and home health-care needs. The PsychOncology Clinic will also continue to provide counseling services to cancer patients in this suite of the Med Inn Building.

"This new center provides the platform for a whole new array of services through the Symptom Management & Palliative Care Program," Hammelef said. "We believe in a holistic approach to cancer care, grounded in research. This center is the embodiment of that philosophy."

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Thrive Issue: 
Summer, 2010