Sunday, May 27, 2012

Each patient..........extraordinary care

I should be doing 100 if not 1000 other things (right now), but somehow my fingers found their way to this one page on the wide, wide internet, and I needed to share it with all of you (right now).

Here is one example of a cancer center that 'gets it' and has clearly made a commitment to include the full array of beneficial nutrition services to its entire patient population and then market this advantage that they provide in terms of true comprehensive cancer care to its patients.

My hat is off to the John Theuer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ. Thank you for overcoming (ignoring?) all the tired old reasons why providing proactive, individualized nutritional care is not able to be done. You have my deepest appreciation and admiration for the comprehensive and 'world-class care' (your words and I support them) that your cancer center has committed to provide its patients.

I just love how the photo at the top of the page shows the oncology dietitians in their amazing (!!!) kitchen. I want to come to be part of your classes (sorry - scratch that - I don't have time - but I still wish I could!).

I am sure the dietitians still feel like they need 36 hours in each day to provide the care they know needs to be done. I am sure things might still slip between the cracks at this cancer center (they sure did recently at a local major cancer center when I got a phone call, somehow, on a Saturday afternoon - long story, no need for details, just suffice to say I know even caring staff sometimes miss things, systems fail, and a family feels over-looked - I gave them lots of sympathy, empathy, and several tips for getting through the weekend with Plan B).

My point is - if your cancer center (no matter how big or how small) is still not providing proactive and individualized nutritional care by Registered Dietitians (RD) with expertise in oncology (even certified in the specialty of oncology nutrition - CSO), then please, please, please speak up and ask "Why not?". I kid you not, I have said this before but it bears repeating, I have seen cancer centers around the country finally get their nutritional services brought on board (and increased) by patient grass roots efforts.

Patients are the 'customers' here, so please speak up. A group of you at your own cancer center just might help someone (a medical director, a 'bean counter') reach a tipping point in that decision process.

I am sure there are more 'model programs' out there. Over the years I have highlighted a few others when I have found information about them. I don't know everyone anymore, and I hope more and more cancer centers (again, no matter how large or how small) are coming to the recognition that providing nutritional care by RDs is necessary for cancer care to be called truly 'comprehensive' and provide the best chance for full effectiveness of cancer therapies and optimizing quality of life during and after cancer therapies.

I always love hearing about other 'best programs'. I will give them a shout-out, too. :)

Now back to harvesting garlic scapes which have emerged a full 3+ weeks earlier than last year, so all my plans and hopes about getting my website and blogs consolidated by any certain deadline have evaporated!

Have a great holiday weekend. Think of me farming - 365DaysofFarming could be another new blog - yikes - no time!!! You can follow our farm's quick updates on Facebook though.

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Elaine said...

You are a wonderful advocate, Diana. And yes, I often think of you, especially when I check on my garlic at the community plot.

Justine L said...

My dad was at that hospital. Unfortunately, he did not survive ... but I still think it's a great program. Thank you for your advocacy!!

Diana Dyer said...

Dear jhl,
I am so sorry to hear about your dad's death from cancer. I deeply understand being in your shoes as my dad also died from cancer. I light several candles each Monday morning to start my week at, and one of them is a candle of gratitude for all cancer caregivers, all of whom (professional or family members) have such a very difficult 'job'. One of my motivations for being an advocate is to help make the cancer journey less difficult for those who follow. I send healing wishes to you and your family.