Cancer Patient Resources
Treating the Person, Not the Cancer
A cancer diagnosis affects more than just your health. At Akron General’s McDowell Cancer Institute, we understand what our patients and their families are facing following their diagnosis. We extend a helping hand to each and every one of our cancer patients through our multi-disciplinary team, which includes nurses, a caring and trained resource counselor, a reimbursement specialist and a survivorship nurse. Our team is always happy to answer questions and help patients navigate the treatment process. To talk to a team member, please call 330.344.HOPE.
Here for our Patients through the Cancer Journey
Together with the medical and support staff, our resource counselors are there for patients from the very beginning. We meet with newly-diagnosed patients to help them begin the process.
During the initial meeting, a resource counselor provides patients with helpful information. We encourage patients to complete an evaluation screening, which helps both the patient and the resource counselor identify potential areas of concern. Based on the screening or at the patient’s request, the resource counselor can provide assistance across multiple areas including:
- Review of patient and family support system
- Providing information about the psychosocial impact of cancer
- Providing or referring counseling to individuals and families
- Providing assistance with insurance or coordination of benefits questions
- Providing information about disability or work-related concerns, such as FMLA or Social Security
- Providing crisis intervention when needed
- Assist with completing Advanced Directives
- Assisting with difficult-to-solve practical problems
- Providing information and education about the health care system
- Identifying appropriate resources and linkages within the community
Throughout the treatment process, our resource counselors assists patients and their families with any questions regarding emotional, spiritual, financial, practical or other supportive needs. Overall, resource counselors aim to remove as much stress or uncertainty as possible from the treatment process, which allows the patient to focus on getting well.
Affiliation with National and Local Support Resources
Akron General offers resources to help patients and their families through the cancer journey. By working with these national organizations, we can help extend our resources.
Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio
Stephen A. Communale, Jr. Family Cancer Foundation
Info Line Community Resource Directory
Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority
Stewart's Caring Place
Help with Insurance, Financial Concerns
Life-saving cancer treatment and necessary medications can be expensive. For many patients, navigating the world of insurance coverage and treatment costs can be overwhelming and stressful. With the goal of alleviating that stress, a reimbursement specialist steps in to investigate and advocate on behalf of our patients.
The reimbursement specialist focuses on investigating each patient’s insurance benefits and coverage. For patients facing significant out-of-pocket costs, including those who are underinsured or uninsured, the reimbursement specialist identifies opportunities and will complete required applications for patients to receive financial assistance through outside foundations, grants or charitable organizations.
During 2014 alone, Akron General has helped to secure more than $3.5 million, which has helped patients with their out-of-pocket expenses. This includes nearly $850,000 to cover the cost of medications.
Financial Support Resources
Needymeds offers assistance with the cost of medicine. Learn more.
Continued Support through Survivorship, after Cancer
Once a patient’s treatment is finished, making the transition from cancer patient back to a normal routine can be tough. That’s why the support doesn’t end with a patient’s final appointment. A trained survivorship nurse works closely with the physician, patients and their families following their final treatment to develop an individualized care plan. The plan also details each patient's treatment for future reference and offers post-treatment recommendations.
If you have questions or would like to discuss any concerns, please call 330.344.HOPE (4673) to talk to a team member.