by Beth Hill
City of Hope Cancer Center will present the first of four national conferences designed to teach professional caregivers to enhance the quality of care for cancer survivors. The conference, part of City of Hope’s Survivorship Education for Quality Cancer Care program, will take place at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., from July 13 to 15.
Fifty competitively selected cancer institutions each will send two health care representatives to the conferences. One must be a physician, nurse or administrator; the second may be a psychologist, social worker, pharmacist, rehabilitation professional or chaplain.
"In 2004, there were more than 1 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Today, statistics from the National Cancer Institute and other cancer research facilities show that 64 percent are expected to survive at least five years after diagnosis," said Project Director Denice Economou, M.N. Economou is a senior research specialist with City of Hope’s Department of Nursing Research & Education.
"Survivors experience long-term physical and psychosocial effects as a result of their cancer diagnosis and treatment," Economou said. "Caregivers can have a major influence on the well-being of cancer survivors. Training is essential to ensure caregivers are equipped to ensure quality of care and quality of life for survivors."
Speakers with national reputations in cancer survivorship will act as leaders and provide assistance with goal development and implementation planning for each conference team. Topics of discussion will include research goals aimed at meeting the needs of the growing number of cancer survivors nationally.
A $1.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is funding the conferences. The NCI awarded the grant to City of Hope in 2005 (see January 16 Hope News). The goal is to train 400 caregivers nationwide.
Marcia Grant, R.N., D.N.Sc., professor and director of City of Hope’s Nursing Research and Education Department, is the principal investigator. The project builds upon the 2006 Institute of Medicine report on cancer survivorship, which challenged cancer centers to improve care for the world’s 10 million cancer survivors.
A conceptual model featuring four dimensions of cancer survivorship – physical well-being and symptoms, psychological well-being, social well-being and spiritual well-being – will form the basis of participants' training.
Those interested in more information or applications can visit the conference Web site at www.cityofhope.org/CME/survivorship or contact Liz Gourdine, Nursing Research & Education Department, at ext. 63488.