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Wellness Center to provide ‘whole person’ care for oncology patients

June 24, 2021

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Wellness Center to provide ‘whole person’ care for oncology patients

When the new WellSpan York Cancer Center opens its doors this summer, patients will have easier access to comprehensive care under one roof. The expanded center is designed to treat the whole person through the whole journey, from cancer prevention, screening and diagnosis through treatment, to support and recovery, all in one place, with a calm and healing environment.

As part of our holistic approach, the expanded center will include a Wellness Center that will treat both the minds and bodies of our patients. The Wellness Center will offer services to patients designed to help them to both manage the physical pain they may experience and also relieve the mental stress of illness.

Center for Mind/Body Health

One of the key aspects of the Wellness Center will be the Center for Mind/Body Health, which will offer holistic care services, like massage therapy and acupuncture, to cancer patients in all stages of their journeys.

“Research shows that oncology massage can help improve the quality of life of patients, improving relaxation, sleep and immune function, while relieving anxiety, pain, fatigue and nausea,” said Dr. Robert Rice, medical director of the oncology service line. “We want to do everything we can to help our patients manage their experience with cancer, and oncology massage can go a long way in making sure our patients are as comfortable as possible through their journey.”

Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation Services will be offering physical therapy at the new Wellness Center, which will allow for close collaboration with providers and facilitate coordinated scheduling of post-op visits and therapy visits.

“We will work together with the patient and family to provide them with the tools necessary to manage pain, fatigue, swelling and lymphedema, weakness, gait and balance disorders, as well as a number of other limitations that may occur after diagnosis.” said Laura Schmitt, Physical Therapist. 

Upon physician referral to physical therapy, a patient will be evaluated to determine their needs and set goals based on each individual’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatments may include exercise, mobility training, lymphedema management, soft tissue massage, balance training and fitness education. Care will be provided by therapists who specialize in oncology rehabilitation and lymphedema.

“Our goal is to work as one with all the services offered at WellSpan York Cancer Center, to provide the best outcomes for all oncology patients,” said Scott Kunkel, director of clinical operations with Rehab Services.

Medical Equipment

WellSpan Medical Equipment will set up fitting appointments for mastectomy patients at the WellSpan York Cancer Center, where team members will measure and fit patients with prosthetics and bras.

“There can be a lot of stress surrounding a mastectomy surgery, including stress about what to do after the surgery has taken place,” said Jenna Walsh, manager, sales and marketing, WellSpan Medical Equipment. “A prosthesis can help return our patients to some sense of normalcy after surgery, restoring confidence and allowing them to wear their usual clothing. We want to take time to get to know our patients, their goals, and do whatever we can to make their lives easier post-surgery.”

The WellSpan Medical Equipment team will also see lymphedema patients to measure them for compression garments.

WellSpan Medical Equipment team members will see patients by appointment. They also see patients at their Lebanon and Ephrata retail stores, but are joining the WellSpan York Cancer Center team in order to expand access to patients in the central region.

Palliative & Support Care

WellSpan Palliative & Supportive Care will see patients for consults at the new Wellness Center. Palliative & Supportive Care is specialized, comprehensive medical treatment for the discomfort and stress of serious illness.

“Our team members work together with primary and specialty care providers to provide an additional layer of support for patients battling a serious illness,” said Mark Neal, senior practice manager, palliative care. “Our goal is to prevent and ease patient suffering while improving the quality of life for both patients and their caregivers.”

WellSpan Palliative & Supportive Care is appropriate at any stage during a serious illness and can be provided along with chronic or curative treatment.

Laurel Grove

The Laurel Grove Line of products will also be available at the Wellness Center. These products have been curated by our oncology clinical care team members to make a difference in the health and wellbeing of patients. Selections include skin lotions, essential oils, pain relief products and comfort products.

WellSpan will offer Laurel Grove products for on-site purchase at the Wellness Center, with plans to make them available via an online store in the future.

Spiritual Care

At the WellSpan York Cancer Center, a chaplain will be available to tend to the emotional and spiritual needs of the patients, their families, their friends and the staff.

Chaplains are trained to work with clients of different religious backgrounds or with patients who do not claim any religious affiliation or faith. They will be available by being on-call or by scheduled appointment.

“At the new WellSpan York Cancer Center, we are dedicated to providing a ‘whole person’ approach to care, treating our patients through every step of their journey,” said Gwen Floyd, WMG Director of Operations. “The Wellness Center is going to be an important part of the healing process for our patients and their families. Having it in the same location as where they will receive their care will create an easier patient experience, allowing them to focus on getting better.”

For more information on oncology services provided at WellSpan, visit WellSpan.org/Cancer.