Livestrong Community Impact Project

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Last summer, the HOTY (a/k/a Husband of the Year) and I had the great and wonderful opportunity to talk with the extraordinary men who make LIVESTRONG tick: founder Lance Armstrong and President & CEO Doug Ulman. What a Silver Lined day that was!

Now, I always knew that LIVESTRONG is incredibly, more like outrageously inspiring, but until my unfortunate run-in with FBC (a/k/a f-bomb breast cancer), I did not know the depth and breadth of just how Silver Lined LIVESTRONG really is.

Though they do a gazillion magical things to help patients living with and beyond cancer, I’d love to tell you about one of the initiatives that they are working on now: the LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project. Oh my gosh, this program is so incredibly fabulous and wonderful!

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 (Silver Lined) programs selected for replication in this year’s Project are:

  • The Creative Center: Hospital Artist in Residence Program
    Since its inception in 1994, The Creative Center has been dedicated to bringing the arts to people with cancer, chronic illness and 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.
  • LIVESTRONG at the YMCA
    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.
  • Certification for Advanced Palliative Care
    In 2011, The Joint Commission launched its Palliative Care Advanced Certification, designed for hospitals wishing recognition for providing state-of-the-art palliative care services to patients and families throughout the continuum of a serious illness. This initiative seeks 20 hospital-affiliated cancer centers wishing to achieve the new Joint Commission certification.
  • Pillars4Life
    Pillars4Life is a patient/caregiver support program that has been proven to enhance quality-of-life for cancer patients and that allows hospitals and their social workers to more efficiently triage and attend to the psychosocial needs of a much greater number of patients.

The second phase of the project involves an interactive voting campaign and is now underway. This is where you, my dear readers, come in!

LIVESTRONG is asking all of us to vote to determine which cancer support programs across the country LIVESTRONG will support. In other words, they don’t pick where the money goes, WE DO. How amazing is this?

I try not to ask too much of you, but I am asking you to vote for the program that speaks to you.  All you have to do is click here:  Vote.LIVESTRONG.org

Here’s how LIVESTRONG will distribute funds based on YOUR votes:

  • $15,000 each to 20 hospitals and care centers to develop The Creative Center: Hospital Artist in Residence Programs that use art to help survivors cope with treatment .
  • $10,000 each for 20 hospitals and cancer centers to work with the Center to Advance Palliative Care and ensure that patients are provided relief from the symptoms and pain of cancer
  • $15,000 in funds, training and resources to establish Pillars4Life support group programs in 20 communities, connecting survivors with experienced mentors and counselors
  • $3,500 each to start up local LIVESTRONG at the YMCA programs in 30 new markets, helping survivors recover after treatment.

The only challenge from my perspective is choosing because each of these programs is so incredibly fabulous (Silver Lining). Please take the time (less than 5 minutes!) to vote. Your ballot today will truly send care to people who need it the most.

To vote, click right HERE: Vote.LIVESTRONG.org

Thank you all so very much for doing this. It means the world to me…& to the folks at LIVESTRONG…& more importantly for the 10’s of thousands of people who will benefit from these programs which is the ultimate Silver Lining!

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