Helping people with cancer cope with their disease and continue their treatment when major events strike is the aim of a natural disaster preparedness and response program being developed by CancerCare and other premier oncology and disaster organizations, following a multi-stakeholder meeting.
The idea was born after the group provided financial assistance, psychosocial and practical support to more than 1,000 cancer patients affected by catastrophic hurricanes two years ago, says CEO Patricia Goldsmith.
“CancerCare’s work in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas in 2017, showed us just how devastating a natural disaster can be to patients already dealing with the difficulties of a cancer diagnosis,” she notes.
At the time, many cancer patients and their families had been displaced by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
The disaster program is a collaborative effort and the stakeholder meeting, which was held at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida, included a number of patient advocacy groups, humanitarian associations, governmental organizations and healthcare providers.
“CancerCare is excited to bring together such an esteemed group of organizations to begin tackling the greatest challenges cancer patients and their healthcare providers face as a result of disasters,” adds Patricia.
The following organizations participated in the stakeholder meeting:
American Cancer Society, American Society for Radiation Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Direct Relief, Florida Blue, Florida Society of Clinical Oncology, Harvard Law School, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, Inc. , Migrant Clinicians Network, Moffitt Cancer Center, National Cancer Institute, Oncology Nursing Society, Partners HealthCare , Transcita,UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas, US Department of Health and Human Services.