The Positive Image CenterSM now has a new physical and organizational home.
A critical element of supportive care, the Positive Image Center helps patients with their self-image during and after cancer treatment. The longstanding center recently became part of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine and the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center.
|Cassie Polchow, left, and Stella Sainz staff the Positive Image Center, now part of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine. (Photo by Darrin S. Joy)|
It also recently moved to a new space. Formerly located near the Main Medical Building’s waiting area, the center has migrated to Room 1122 on the first floor of the Main Medical Building, across the hall from the Neurodiagnostics Lab.
This move opens up much-needed space for blood testing (phlebotomy) and specimen collection for City of Hope’s ambulatory care patients.
Supportive care staff members note that the Positive Image Center provides key services such as prostheses and cosmetics consultations that can help male and female patients feel good about themselves during illness.
“Cancer is an assault on our personhood at many levels,” said Jay Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Supportive Care Medicine. “When people with illness look in the mirror and ask, ‘Who am I now that I’m sick?’, the Department of Supportive Care Medicine stands ready to walk along with patients and families to help answer that question in all its complexity.
“The Positive Image Center is an important part of that assistance, giving patients back some control and dignity at a time when there are many losses and indignities in their lives.”
Staffed by two licensed cosmetologists, Stella Sainz and Cassie Polchow, the center offers products and services supporting those with chemotherapy-related hair loss such as head shaving, wigs, wig fittings and stylings, head wraps, hats and scarf-tying techniques. It also provides post-mastectomy fittings and prosthetics and instruction on cosmetics and skin care.
In addition, the center hosts the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good, Feel Better” Program, free workshops providing practical beauty tips for women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation.
“We’re fortunate to have experienced cosmetologists on hand who know what cancer patients go through,” said Sharon Steingass, R.N., vice president of ambulatory services. “They understand which products are safe and healthy and how to use these products to counteract some of the visible side effects of treatment.”
For more information about the Positive Image Center, call extension 63842.