Services Available to the Community Free of
In response to a steady increase in demand from the McHenry County community, Wellness Place, a cancer resource and education center headquartered in Palatine, Ill., has opened a satellite office in Crystal Lake, “Wellness Place Cancer Connections (WPCC).” The new site is located in the Community Room on the first floor of the Advocate Good Shepherd Outpatient Center on 525 Congress Parkway. Free cancer-related support services are available by appointment on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m by calling (847) 241-5964. Services currently include one-on-one cancer-related counseling for individuals, and sessions for couples, families, caregivers and loved ones.
“For those affected by cancer, it is critical
that support is available and accessible,” said Kathy Scortino, RN, MA, LCPC,
clinical director at Wellness Place.
“With a dedicated office now open to the public in McHenry County, Wellness
Place is better equipped in the area and can more effectively help to relieve
the emotional distress commonly associated with a cancer diagnosis.”
Three years ago, Wellness Place began offering
services to patients through a joint effort with a local oncology practice,
North Shore Oncology/Hematology Associates in Crystal Lake. In an effort to
broaden services to the greater McHenry County community, Wellness Place
secured independent office space and as of October of 2013, has the capacity to
offer free cancer-related counseling, education and resources.
According to a 2007 Institute of Medicine (IOM)
report, conventional cancer care often fails to address the psychological
issues associated with cancer. The IOM report states that psychological
problems created or exacerbated by cancer can be alleviated through support,
counseling, stress management, and wellness and educational services. (Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting
Psychosocial Health Needs: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2007/Cancer-Care-for-the-Whole-Patient-Meeting-Psychosocial-Health-Needs.aspx ).
Other research shows that emotional distress is common for those affected by cancer and that patients with unresolved stress may be more likely to visit emergency rooms, utilize community health services, make higher demands on healthcare providers’ time and be offered complicated and expensive therapies (Emotional Distress: The Sixth Vital Sign in Cancer Care, Journal of Clinical Oncology Vol 23, No 26 pp 6440-6441).
Finally, according to Wellness Place, participants who use support services through counseling report a dramatic reduction in fear, anxiety and sleeplessness. They report being able to communicate better with their families and healthcare teams and generally feel less isolated and better able to cope.
Ms. Scortino added that in order to best serve the McHenry County community, Wellness Place is looking to add a broader range of programs to their available on-site resources in Crystal Lake, including support groups and stress and pain management therapies such as yoga and Tai Chi.
Wellness Place is also expanding services in the Park Ridge area beginning in October 2013, with the development of an onsite caregiver support group at Lutheran General Hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Center.
The satellite program in McHenry County is supported through generous grants from the Gavers Community Cancer Foundation, the McHenry County Community Foundation, and The Coleman Foundation as well as individual donors from the area. For information about giving toward this, or any other program at Wellness Place, contact LeeAnn Atwood at 847-241-5973.
Wellness Place offers professional support free of charge, to individuals, families and caregivers affected by cancer. Programs and services help manage emotional and physical responses to treatment, sort through options and side effects, formulate questions for doctors, and communicate matters to family and employers. Specialized services are available for young children and teens. The main facility is located at 1619 West Colonial Parkway in Palatine and serves the surrounding NW suburban Chicago area. To learn more about Wellness Place, visit www.wellnessplace.org.
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