November 28, 2016

New IU Health Cancer Center Offers Free Therapy

Music Therapist Tony Madieros sings with a patient at IU Health. - Courtesy of IU Health

Music Therapist Tony Madieros sings with a patient at IU Health.

Courtesy of IU Health

A new support center for cancer patients opens Tuesday at IU Health in Indianapolis. Officials say it’s aimed at addressing patients’ unmet emotional needs.

Five organizations, including the American Cancer Society and Cancer Support Community, will make up the Cancer Resource Center.

Larry Cripe, associate professor of medicine at Indiana University, says a need for emotional therapy has gone unaddressed in many hospitals around the country.

“People live whole lives, and often speak to the fact that it seems like no one’s paying attention to them as a person,” Cripe says.

Patients will have access to a variety of services like wig fittings, support groups, and music, massage and pet therapy. All those services, at least to start, are free of charge to cancer patients and families, even those who don’t get care at IU Health.

The new program will be located within the existing Simon Cancer Center. And Cripe says due to what they expect will be a growing demand, the program may need to expand its staff in the future.

An IU Health representative says the program was funded through philanthropic support from Methodist Health Foundation, with initial costs topping $100,000.

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