Health fair connects patients and families with Massey’s integrative health resources
As more and more people strive toward a more balanced mind, body and spirit, VCU Massey Cancer Center helps patients take steps toward that goal.
On Tuesday, March 29, Massey hosted an integrative health resource fair for cancer patients and their family and caregivers to help better inform them of Massey’s integrative health services.
For several years, Massey has been working to build an Integrative Health program, which combines evidence-based support services and complementary therapies with conventional cancer care in order to improve the quality of life and optimal health of patients. The program recognizes that health is influenced not only by medical care but by behaviors, such as dietary, exercise and sleep habits, as well as by stress, genetics, socio-economic status and other factors. Some of the resources available through the program include:
- Art therapy
- Communication assistance
- Diet and nutrition counseling
- Financial assistance for qualifying patients in need
- Genetic counseling
- Head-wear – free wigs, hats and scarves – as well as private cosmetology consultations
- Healing garden
- Legal assistance for qualifying patients in need
- Lodging assistance for patients in need
- Music therapy
- Palliative care for pain and symptom management
- Patient education, including patient libraries and health programming
- Pet therapy
- Pharmacy services, including onsite oncology pharmacies
- Psychological counseling
- Rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapy
- Social work
- Spiritual counseling
- Support groups
- Tobacco cessation counseling
- Transportation assistance for patients in need
At the resource fair, many of these services were on display at various booths, providing information and demonstrations to participants. There was even a smoothie-making class taught by registered dietitians in the Patient Resource Library.
The health fair also featured Massey’s Farm Stand, which is a partnership with Tricycle Gardens that provides fresh, inexpensive and local produce to patients at Massey at least once a month when produce is in season. Recipe cards and information on the health benefits of the produce were handed out, and a grant from the McKesson Foundation doubled the buying power of patients with SNAP/EBT benefits. The farm stand has been a big hit among patients, caregivers and staff.
This was Massey’s second integrative health resource fair, and at least 50 people attended. In addition to the resource fair, Massey continuously offers intimate workshops on a variety of integrative health topics at its downtown Patient Resource Library. Dates and times for these workshops are available on Massey’s website, along with more information about the Integrative Health program and all of the resources it provides to our local cancer community.