Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) recently awarded a $50,000 grant to the Program in Women's Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island for the creation of a Woman to Woman patient to patient mentoring program at the hospital.
Woman to Woman, sponsored nationally by QVC, pairs gynecologic cancer patients with survivors, supporting women and their families through all phases of treatment, recurrence and recovery. The program will begin at Women & Infants in 2014.
"Being diagnosed with any type of cancer can be traumatic and can leave a patient feeling like no one truly understands her fears and anxiety," said Katina Robison, MD, a gynecologic oncologist with the Program in Women's Oncology who will oversee Woman to Woman with Diane Thompson, director of Social Services for the Program. "Through Woman to Woman, gynecologic cancer patients at Women & Infants will receive vital emotional support and mentoring from our survivors.
"The result is an improved quality of care for these women. They will also feel more empowered to advocate for themselves going forward."
Each woman participating in the program will receive free materials designed by OCRF specifically for Woman to Woman. The materials include comprehensive information about gynecologic cancer treatment and survivorship.
"Our goal at the Program in Women's Oncology is to give women whatever it is they need to make their cancer journey easier," said Cornelius "Skip" Granai III, MD, director of the Program in Women's Oncology. "That's a very personal need and might mean having an appointment for acupuncture, joining a poetry workshop or sitting with a survivor who understands the emotional and physical difficulties of a cancer journey.
"We are thrilled that Ovarian Cancer Research Fund has given our patients this opportunity."
Thompson added that the Woman to Woman Program will be available for women who want to meet face to face, but will also tap social media to connect women.
"We are in the golden age of electronics, which will help us make the Woman to Woman experience available to more isolated women through any medium they have. We have young patients who are blogging, older women who text throughout the nightbecause they have only each other," she explains.
To learn more about participating in the OCRF Woman to Woman Program or about oncology services at Women & Infants, go to womanandinfants.org/womenscancer/oncology or call (401) 453-7520.
About Women & Infants Hospital
Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation's leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. The primary teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women's medicine, Women & Infants is the eighth largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country with nearly 8,400 deliveries per year.In 2009, Women & Infants opened the country's largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.
New England's premier hospital for women and newborns, Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, women's mental health, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation's only mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation's only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.
Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Center of Excellence from the American College of Radiography; a Center for In Vitro Maturation Excellence by SAGE In Vitro Fertilization; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health; and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute's Gynecologic Oncology Group and the National Institutes of Health's Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.