A center of integrative oncology… maintaining wellness, maximizing health, and complementing the best oncologic practices and scientific research through individualized care offered by a multidisciplinary team committed to enhancing the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of people touched by cancer.
Definition of Mission
“People Touched by Cancer” is part of our mission statement and specifically means, individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer, their partners, siblings, parents, children and close friends. Most importantly, we seek to provide care to the minor children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer who will be affected by this disease.
- Cancer and its treatments disrupt normal states of physical, psychological, social, economic and spiritual functioning of individuals and their families and these disruptions affect quality of life.
- The effective management of the changes caused by the diagnosis of cancer and its aftermath require information and resources beyond the scope of traditional medicine.
- The resources necessary to manage cancer, its treatments and its aftermath are extensive and go beyond the fund of experience of most people and their families at the time of diagnosis.
- Oncology physicians are responsible for the medical management of the cancer, but often do not have the opportunity, knowledge and information to fully educate patients about other important and necessary resources available to improve the quality of patients’ lives.
- Other types of professionals, with expertise in the area of oncology, have knowledge of and access to these resources and can serve as additional care providers and guides to patients and their families helping to empower them in their quest for wellness, the management of cancer and its treatments and the attendant discomforts and disruptions.
- All care must be individualized with the recognition that the starting point is with the individual needs of each patient and his or her family members.
- Caring for an individual with cancer requires attending to all aspects of their life and helping them to restore their well-being to the maximum level possible with emphasis on quality of life.
- A multi-disciplinary and comprehensive program that encompasses a range of therapeutic expertise is necessary to help facilitate the highest degree of health and wellness following a cancer diagnosis.
- Patients and families will have varying needs and thus a program must be flexible to meet the range of needs of different people at varying phases of the disease, treatment, recovery and/or dying process.
- The goal of comprehensive care is to help patients and family members to restore as much physical, psychological, social, economic and spiritual health and wellness so that patients and family members can live as fully as possible from the point of diagnosis throughout the continuum.
- To establish a model center in integrative oncology that provides a range of services and programs to individuals with cancer or at risk of cancer and their families to promote the highest degree of health and wellness possible and the best quality of life in all phases of the disease process.
- We seek to facilitate the health and psychological well-being of children whose parents have a diagnosis of cancer providing them with the appropriate information, resources and psychological interventions necessary to develop and mature through this experience.
- To establish a physical space which houses the integrative oncology practitioners that is in close proximity to where treatment is provided and patients with cancer are seen.
- To create a physical space that supports the delivery of services to patients and their families in an efficient manner while maintaining their comfort and privacy.
- To create a peaceful and aesthetically appealing space that promotes feeling cared for, facilitates wellness and is free of stress.
- To provide highly trained multi-disciplinary practitioners who offer techniques and strategies that ameliorate symptoms and consequences – both physical and psychological–of cancer and its treatment informed by scientific evidence and best clinical practices.
- To develop a range of programs and interventions that provide information to patients and their families to empower them to become active participants in the healing process of the whole individual – mind, body, emotion, and spirit.
- To facilitate the development of individualized treatment protocols which complement traditional oncologic care and are aimed at the overall wellness and quality of life of all people touched by cancer.
- To document and track the impact of the programs offered by the Center to guide program development and delivery in order to insure fulfillment of the mission and satisfaction of the constituencies that we serve.
- To establish a culture through administrative strategies and individual behaviors that encourages mutual respect, collaboration and support to mitigate the stresses and challenges of delivering comprehensive oncologic care.
- To make explicit the value of self-care strategies for the practitioners and administrators to facilitate their own wellness and health.
- To create an environment that seeks to provide opportunities for collaboration and research oriented toward the development of best clinical practices by examining processes, strategies, and techniques of integrative oncology.
- To provide training opportunities for health care professionals (social work, psychology, medicine, pharmacy, nursing etc) to experience integrative oncology and enhance career development in this field for interested individuals.
- To develop collaborative relationships with others within the University and outside of the University who seek to understand, research and practice integrative oncology in furtherance of the mission of the Center.