WVU Cancer Center Creates Family Support Program

Partners with WV Family Grief Center to Provide Services

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —  From the moment of diagnosis, cancer affects the whole family, not just the person with the disease. Emotional needs of both adults and children are often overlooked or misunderstood because of the pressures and challenges everyone is facing.

The West Virginia University Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center has created a new support program to help its patients and their children deal effectively with the impact of cancer.

“The WVU Cancer Center Family Support Program is an expansion of our comprehensive support services and is free to our patients who have children between the ages of three and 18,” said Deborah Falconi, RN, MSN, OCN, director of Oncology Services at WVU Hospitals. “The program offers peer support for children and adults. There will be various age groups for children and separate groups for adult caregivers and adult patients.”

The program is in partnership with the West Virginia Family Grief Center in Morgantown.  The Grief Center staff will work in collaboration with the healthcare team at the Cancer Center, providing feedback about each patient participating in the family support program.

“This is a great partnership and will be wonderful for families,” said Stephanie Savitch, director of the WV Family Grief Center.  “Our Center and the Cancer Center both recognized a need for a program of this kind.  Together, we can implement it much faster and begin work on expressing feelings and developing coping skills of family members.”

Savitch adds that the partnership with the WVU Cancer Center is unique in West Virginia. 

The WVU Cancer Center Family Support meetings will begin April 24 and will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, at the Suncrest United Methodist Church, Trinity Campus, on Burroughs Street in Morgantown.

Please call (304) 598-4563 or 4564 for additional information.

- WVU -

For more information:
Sherry Stoneking, Cancer Center, (304) 293-4599

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