SOURCE: LIVESTRONG Foundation

LIVESTRONG Foundation

January 21, 2014 07:00 ET

LIVESTRONG Foundation Selects Cancer Support Model Programs to Replicate in 39 Sites Throughout the Nation With Its Community Impact Project

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jan 21, 2014) - Through its annual Community Impact Project, the LIVESTRONG Foundation will spread three established cancer care programs to 39 sites in the U.S. in 2014. The $1 million in awards will fund the replication of the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program, Pablove Shutterbugs of The Pablove Foundation, and VitalHearts: Secondary Trauma Resiliency. These three programs were selected for their proven ability to provide necessary programming and support to cancer survivors and their families both during and post treatment.

The application process to bring one of these programs to hospitals, cancer centers and community organizations is now open. Communities are eligible to potentially receive all three of these evidence-based programs to better the lives of people affected by cancer in their areas. There are now more than 300 programs in the U.S. that were given seed funding from LIVESTRONG's Community Impact Project and continue to provide emotional, practical and financial help to those affected by cancer.

"These programs have shown the ability to provide tremendous care and support across the cancer continuum," said LIVESTRONG Foundation Vice President of Programs and Strategy, Ruth Rechis, PhD. "Now in partnership with the Community Impact Project, they will have a chance to scale and improve the lives of more cancer patients, survivors and caregivers than ever before. We hope that cancer centers, hospitals and community organizations take advantage of the application period and apply for one of these valuable programs."

Since its formal inception in 2002, the Jeffrey Frank Wacks Music Therapy Program has become an essential component of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center's integrative approach to caring for cancer patients. The program's overarching goal is to facilitate relaxation, decrease anxiety and stress, enhance wellness, improve pain management, and provide comfort and support for cancer patients and their caregivers. Music therapy is proven to reduce stress and pain levels associated with illness and hospitalization. For many patients, the simple act of listening to music provides a therapeutic release, promoting healing and overall wellbeing. Clinical music therapy services are provided on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Two part-time music therapists conduct sessions with patients either at the bedside or in common (environmental) areas of the cancer center. Over the last decade, the program has served 2,175 patients/caregivers and conducted 5,842 sessions. 

Pablove Shutterbugs, the signature arts program of The Pablove Foundation, teaches children living with cancer to develop their creative voice through the art of photography. Many of the students are removed from school during their illness and treatment, which leads to a disruption in their daily routines. Through Shutterbugs' carefully designed curriculum, students have the opportunity to develop pride and an enhanced self-esteem as they learn challenging, new skills. Trained professional photography mentors guide its students through a series of lessons created specifically to encourage photographic creativity. They gain hands-on experience while learning the principles and techniques of photography including the basics of composition, lighting and perspective. Each of their students keeps their point-and-shoot camera kit at the end of the program to encourage them to go out and see the world differently and continue practicing their art form as young photographers. The goals for the students include: increasing their sense of joy, encouraging their creative thinking, fostering their self-esteem and developing their independence.

VitalHearts' mission is caring for cancer treatment providers who suffer from secondary or vicarious trauma, which is a significant, although hidden problem. Secondary Traumatic Stress includes such reactions as: depression, anxiety, persistent trauma imagery, sleep disturbances, mistrust of their organization, isolating from family/friends, frequent illness and loss of mission optimism, among other symptoms, due to the deep exposure to suffering that care providers are exposed to. VitalHearts' program, the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training (STRT), revitalizes care providers, often saving careers of those who work with cancer patient and survivors by making them more resilient. This allows institutions to better retain their staff expertise, which gives crucial value to patients. 

The deadline to apply for the one of the Community Impact Project model programs is Friday, Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. CST. Accepted applicants then move onto the project's online voting campaign, March 24-April 9, which allows the public to determine where the money goes among eight U.S. regions. The awarded sites will be announced on April 15.

Organizations chosen to implement one of the model programs will receive up to $15,600 to support the implementation. They will also receive a toolkit consisting of facilitator manuals, participant materials and evaluation forms; training and support from the model program's staff; access to additional tools and resources; and a full report on the historical replication of this program upon completion.

"LIVESTRONG has provided us the critical seed funding needed to quickly and efficiently replicate our chapters across the country, and by mobilizing local supporters to vote for their favorite programs, we are able to quickly discern where the Camp Kesem program is most in demand -- and ultimately, will be most successful," said Camp Kesem CEO Jane Saccaro. "This has been critical when evaluating our growth strategy and future opportunities. In the last three years (since the initial LIVESTRONG CIP grant), Camp Kesem has been able to double the number of children who have a parent affected by cancer that we serve."

The programs from the 2013 LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project are currently being implemented at nearly 72 sites across the nation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation is committed to supporting community organizations in their efforts to help cancer survivors face the challenges and changes that come with cancer and has invested more than $80 million in community-centered organizations.

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Created in 1997, the Foundation is known for providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life. Known for its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top non-profit organizations, the Foundation has been recognized by industry leaders including Charity Navigator, the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.

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