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Patient & Family Support Services

Patient & Family Support

Helping Patients and Their Loved Ones Cope with the Realities of Cancer

The Manderson Cancer Center is committed to caring for the whole patient. For us, that means much more than simply treating and managing their ailments. Our Patient & Family Support Program offers social service support, psychological support, pastoral counseling and a wide array of support programs designed to help patients and their families through the various stages of illness with compassion and understanding. There is no charge for most of these services, and confidentiality is always respected.

Social Workers

Our social workers provide practical assistance to help patients obtain resources at the cancer center and in the community for transportation, overnight accommodations, medical equipment, medication assistance, and financial and insurance information. You may contact one of our social workers to arrange a consultation time for you and/or your family to help with concerns and to find solutions that best meet your needs. If you are a patient of Dr. Hinton, Dr. Dubay or Dr. Tucker, please call Berni DellaPenna, ACBSW, at 205-759-6253. If you are a patient of Dr. Anguiano, Dr. Bostick, Dr. Hughes, Dr. Evans or Dr. Crew, call Jennifer Walker, LBSW, at 205-750-5172.

Patient Navigator

The Patient Navigator is here to provide support, hope and encouragement for patients, their families, and caregivers. The Navigator serves as a conduit to the community, social and psychological services and assists patients throughout all phases of their treatment plan. The Patient Navigator program currently serves only our breast cancer patients; however, our goal is to expand navigator services to patients with other forms of cancer. Please see your medical or radiation oncologist for a referral if you would like an appointment with the Patient Navigator.

Nutritional Support

Nutrition is important in helping cancer patients build strength for the fight. The type of cancer a patient has, their type of treatment, and possible side effects can place a lot of nutritional demand on the body. The Manderson Cancer Center has registered, licensed dietitians for specialized nutrition care before, during and after treatments. Our dietitians work with the patient and their care team to develop personalized, nutritious and balanced eating information to fully maximize the body's potential to receive nutrients needed during this critical time. Our goals are to help our patients maintain a healthy weight, eat foods and drink beverages that supply calories and nutrients needed for energy, recovery and healing. Our dietitians are available to help with a scheduled appointment or by physician referral. To schedule an appointment, call 205-343-8767 and leave a message.

Chaplain Services

The experience created by cancer treatment often creates a spiritual/religious and emotional need that is just as important to meet as the physical needs of our patients. Cancer patients all need a supportive human touch and someone to share their intensely personal journey. Our chaplains are charged with the responsibility of ministering to the needs of people in crisis and to aid the medical staff and clergy in the emotional and spiritual care of our patients. The chaplain is the person to whom any individual may turn in a time of crisis with the assurance that his or her confidence and personal beliefs will be respected. Chaplains are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. To contact one of our chaplains, call 205-759-7212.

Support Groups

The Manderson Cancer Center offers several support groups that meet regularly. These include:

  • Behind the Ribbon Peer-to-Peer Support
  • Cancer Wellness Program
  • HeART: Healing with the Arts twice-weekly workshops
  • IMPACT Breast Cancer Support Group
  • Look Good... Feel Better Workshops
  • Prostate Cancer Support Group
  • Smile-a-While for children and teens
  • STRETCH Fitness Program for Breast Cancer Survivors
  • Educational seminars are offered throughout the year

Click here for more information about our support group meetings and programs.