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AAMC to develop cancer rehabilitation program

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2013

The DeCesaris Cancer Institute and Rehabilitation Medicine are excited to announce the development of a comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program. Carol Tweed, MD, will serve as medical advisor.

Twenty-five clinicians from across the rehabilitation and cancer institute departments have been selected to receive training in the first session. Our goal is to have the program fully developed and “STAR”-certified by March 2014. STAR stands for Survivorship Training and Rehab Program.

What does it mean to be a “ STAR” certified program? The “STAR” certification program operating under the name of Oncology Rehabilitation Partners was developed by Dr. Julie Silver at Harvard Medical School. It has been implemented by more than 75 hospitals and cancer centers nationwide including Johns Hopkins Hospital. This program aims to provide healthcare professionals with new or enhanced knowledge that can be implemented in the evaluation and management of cancer and treatment-related impairments, ultimately ensuring the safe and effective restoration of cancer survivor’s function and quality of life. Emphasis will be placed on evidence based practice, understanding rationales for therapeutic interventions, as well as identifying areas where future research is needed in the field of cancer rehabilitation. “STAR” certification includes online educational training, expert-directed webinars, on-site self-directed in-service instructions, implementation support, outcomes measurements and support, marketing materials and continuing education.

The development of the comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program will involve a considerable combined effort among the professionals in the Cancer Institute, Outpatient Rehabilitation, Inpatient Rehabilitation, and Pulmonary Rehabilitation services. The complexity of developing an oncology rehab program requires provider expertise, consistent standards of education and treatment, and adherence to guidelines to achieve outcomes. Above all, it takes a commitment from all departments where these services are offered to come together as one team and achieve the standards we set. In addition, six patient and family advisers have been selected to work with of us providing valuable insight as we go along.

We are confident that we will achieve success together and make a difference for our cancer patients. Contact your director for more information or contact Cathy Copertino, executive director of the DeCesaris Cancer Institute, at 443-481-1336 or ccopertino@AAHS.org.

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