The Cancer Research and Resource Center of Southern Virginia in Lawrenceville Moves to New Location
The Cancer Research and Resource Center of Southern Virginia has moved to new location that is more central to Lawrenceville area cancer patients, survivors and their families and caregivers. After two and a half years at Saint Paul’s College, the Center now resides in the former Bloom Building at 221 N. Main Street.
An outreach program of Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center with funding provided by VCU Massey and a grant from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, with support from Brunswick County Economic Development Coordinating Council, the Cancer Resource Center hosted a public grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration on Friday, November 6. A representative for Congressman Robert Hurt; Senator Frank Ruff and Delegate Danny Marshall, both from the Tobacco Commission; Barbara Jarrett Drummond-Harris, Chair of the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors, and Brunswick County Administrator Dr. Charlette T. Woolridge; Lawrenceville Mayor William Herrington; VCU Massey Director Dr. Gordon Ginder and representatives from the Cancer Resource Center delivered celebratory remarks.
With a new location that is more accessible – across from the courthouse – and with a new setting that is more comfortable for private consultations about health concerns, the Cancer Resource Center continues to actively engage with the communities of Southside Virginia to improve the health and well-being of area residents, with the goal to advance cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship. The Cancer Resource Center is also committed to fostering an open conversation about cancer research and community engagement in cancer studies.
In response to the findings of cancer needs assessments conducted in the Crater, Piedmont and Southside health districts by VCU Massey, the Cancer Resource Center was developed to connect individuals living within these regions with local, state and national cancer programs and resources. The Center operates under the guidance of a Cancer Task Force that it developed comprising area cancer care providers, cancer community organizations and health district leaders to focus on local cancer resources. In partnership with the Cancer Task Force, the Center’s coordinators, Vivian Taylor, Teya Whitehead and Trina Taylor, work to address the specific cancer needs of the Lawrenceville and surrounding region and to promote services that are of the greatest help to residents affected by cancer.
“We want to do as much as we can to help cancer patients focus their energy on staying strong and healing,” says Whitehead.
For example, the Cancer Resource Center provides accurate and current information and materials about a cancer diagnosis and how to cope with it. It helps cancer patients find treatment options, applicable clinical trials, transportation to doctors’ appointments and treatment, support groups and legal and financial assistance. It provides donated breast prostheses, bras, wigs and comfort kits for cancer patients. The Center also organizes educational health workshops and seminars for the community and training conferences for medical professionals.
The Cancer Resource Center recently partnered with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to train five community members as Brunswick Health Ambassador Community Coaches. These coaches will serve as local health ambassadors and will develop localized informational materials and presentations for meetings with civic groups. And through a grant from the National Cancer Institute, VCU Massey will soon bring its successful Breast Health Research Champion program from Petersburg to The Cancer Resource Center in Lawrenceville. This program trains breast cancer survivors, caregivers and other cancer advocates to motivate women within their own social circles to be screened for breast cancer, increase their understanding of cancer clinical research and increase awareness of local and national cancer resources in their community.
VCU Massey has long been involved in the Southern Virginia region, providing medical oncology care in Emporia since 1988 in partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, as well as in South Hill since 2012 in partnership with Community Memorial Hospital (CMH). At CMH, VCU Massey provides the area’s only radiation treatment center. VCU Massey has also led efforts aimed at educating the Lawrenceville and surrounding communities about the value of clinical trials research and about the cancer prevention and control research studies being conducted by VCU Massey locally.