Giving: LiveStrong Community Impact Project

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Is there a better way to start the week than by giving back?  It’s my favorite way to start any day, much less week. Granted, there has been a lot of hubalaboo surrounding Lance Armstrong. While I’m not going to weigh in on those activities, what I would like to tell you about is a great Silver Lining of LIVESTRONG:

LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project

This is an amazing, Silver Lined project. The LIVESTRONG Foundation is offering $1.2 million in implementation awards to 72 sites across the nation as part of its 2013 Community Impact Project.

Here’s how it works: The Community Impact Project replicates evidence-based programs that support people affected by cancer within one city, state or region of the United States. Using replicable programs that have proven effectiveness eliminates the cost of developing new programs and allows immediate implementation of programs to help cancer survivors and their families.

As a nurse and social worker, I can speak professionally to the value of this model. Why not replicate highly functioning programs? This makes SO. MUCH. SENSE.

The Community Impact Project involves two main phases. During the first phase hospitals, cancer centers and community-based organizations apply to bring one or more of the Model Programs to their community. Applications are then vetted and, depending on their location, community served and demonstrated need for the Model Program(s) chosen for the second phase of the Community Impact Project. This first phase is complete.

The second phase of the project involves an interactive voting campaign and is now underway.

This is where you, my dear readers, come in! The public can cast votes — one vote per program, per region — for the following programs:

  • The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Palliative Care is designed to set standards and acknowledge hospitals providing state-of-the-art palliative care services that relieve symptoms and stress of serious illness and improve quality of life for patients. The Center to Advance Palliative Care will provide tools and training to 15 hospitals and cancer centers across the country to assist in their efforts to qualify for the certification.
  • Camp Kesem, a university-based summer camp program for kids with parents affected by cancer, has been selected once before in 2011 when 12 new camps were funded. It began at Stanford University and has since grown to 41 camps in 24 states that serve more than 2,000 children each year. With this year’s grant, 12 more camp sites will be funded.
  • Since its inception in 1994, the Creative Center at University Settlement has been dedicated to bringing the arts to people with cancer and chronic illness through all stages of life as a way to help them discover their own creative resources while meeting the challenges of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. The Artist-in-Residence program helps cancer survivors deal with the stresses of treatment through artistic expression. This year’s grant will allow community-based organizations to fund outpatient art programs in partnership with their local hospital or cancer center. Including this year’s grant, the LIVESTRONG Foundation has become the largest benefactor of visual arts in healthcare in the nation, spreading art programs to more than 40 cancer centers and hospitals since 2010.
  • LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a research-based program that offers people affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. Participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to achieve their goals such as building muscle mass and strength; increasing flexibility and endurance; and improving confidence and self-esteem.

Organizations chosen to implement one of the model programs will receive up to $15,000 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. How is this for a Silver Lining?

There is no – absolutely no – catch to you. All you have to do is vote for the local organization that you would like to see receive the money.  You can vote easy-peasy right here: http://www.vote.livestrong.org

The GREAT thing about this program is that the financial awards provided by the 2012 LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project are currently being implemented at nearly 100 sites including hospitals, cancer centers, universities, and community-based organizations across the nation and will provide support to thousands of people affected by cancer upon completion.  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.

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