Helping Cancer Patients Every Step of The Way
MIMA Cancer Center pioneers the ‘whole family’ approach to treating cancer
FROM THE BEGINNING, MIMA Cancer Center’s goal and promise has been to provide world-class cancer care right here in Brevard County. But what constitutes world-class care?
It is true that MIMA Cancer Center is well respected internationally for the use of the most advanced technology, participation in landmark clinical studies, collaborative patient care and innovative treatment therapies. It is also true that MIMA Cancer Center is Brevard County’s only ACR/ASTRO accredited radiation oncology facility that attracts oncologists from around the globe to come and train on its state-of-the-art radiation systems.
But achieving world-class cancer care also requires a holistic means of bringing oncological best practices and technology together – not simply to treat the whole patient, but the whole family. This multi-disciplinary approach includes quality-of-life and emotional support championed by MIMA Cancer Center’s oncology case managers.
SERVICES, SUPPORT & COUNSELING
MIMA’s case managers help coordinate, advocate and navigate patients and their loved ones through the cancer treatment process – from diagnosis through survivorship. They offer a wide range of services, support groups and individual counseling to support the entire family through the complexity and difficulty that is cancer treatment.
- Weekly Tumor Board Meetings. MIMA physicians, nurses, therapists, physicists and caseworkers meet to take a true team approach on patients’ comprehensive systemic and targeted care.
- For Ladies Only. This support group is open to all female cancer patients and survivors in Brevard County. The group meets the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month and is run by Terri Kleger, a licensed clinical social worker.Sue Myer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Her case manager referred her to a MIMA Cancer Center support group. In 2011, Myer and many of her support group members joined the weekly yoga classes.“When I was diagnosed with cancer, my husband was serving in Afghanistan,” says Myer. “Because of my support group, I was not alone during that very stressful, emotional time.
“The group has become like a family to me,” she continues. “Now I am recruiting people like my good friend, Mary, a 30-year cancer survivor, to the group and the yoga classes.”
- Look Good, Feel Better. In association with American Cancer Society, this program teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance- related side effects of cancer treatments. The MIMA Cancer Center class meets the 4th Tuesday of the month.
- Yoga for Cancer Patients and Survivors. This free class is open to all Brevard County cancer patients and survivors. The class meets every other Wednesday and is taught by a certified yoga instructor and breast cancer survivor.
- Starfish Lagoon.This peer-to-peer support program is for children (ages 4 to 18) whose lives have been impacted by a cancer diagnosis in the family. A collaboration of MIMA Cancer Center and Bright Star, Starfish Lagoon is a place where children can come to play, explore and support each other. The group meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month.Jennifer McNair is a big fan of the group.“I have to say this group is truly a blessing to my family,” says McNair, a cancer patient. “You go in feeling like a stranger; you come out with
a whole new family.“My kids love going to Starfish Lagoon,” she continues. “It has helped them open up to me and my husband and they know now that feelings are okay. I have learned to let them know my fears and that bald is beautiful!”
She adds she is grateful for the group and it allowing her and her family to know there are others just like them.
CONNECTING PATIENTS WITH COMMUNITY RESOURCES
In addition to being an advocate for the patient and facilitating support groups, MIMA oncology case managers help to connect patients with resources from community, pharmaceutical and professional agencies. They also collaborate with cancer foundations to assist patients who may qualify for co-payment assistance to treat breast, prostate and lung cancer, as well as rare and unusual tumors.
With the economy and health insurance being what it is today, Joseph Herbig, a patient diagnosed with Lymphoma, was glad to have MIMA case manager, Paul Kolarik, as an advocate for him.
“Working with Paul was one of the nicest things to happen through the whole process,” says Herbig. “He simplified the process and helped me through every step.”
Herbig just completed two years of chemotherapy at the spacious, state-of-the-art Infusion Center at MIMA Cancer Center. Caseworkers at MIMA Cancer Center helped him to apply and qualify for grant funding to help pay for these treatments.
“We become very attached to our cancer patients and their families,” says Terri Kleger, a MIMA case manager. “We will do whatever we can to help get them through one of the biggest challenges they probably have ever faced.”
MIMA Cancer Center: A Total Cancer Care Provider
- Varian TrueBeam™ System, Novalis Tx, and RapidArc
- Topex SRT 100 (as seen on “The Doctors” TV show)
- IMRT (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy)
- IGRT (Image-Guided Radiation Therapy)
- SRS / SBRT (Stereotactic Radiosurgery / Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy)
- Internal Radiation Therapy (also called Brachytherapy)
- Infusion Center (Largest in Brevard County)
- Targeted Monoclonal Antibodies
- Board-certified medical physicists
- PET/CT scan
- Blood bank
- American Cancer Society resource room
- Massage therapist for patients