Greg Lee, CPA, President of LIVESTRONG recently spoke at the Association of Cancer Executives Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. Greg’s presentation Serving People Affected by Cancer, NOW summarized the mission of LIVESTRONG and the services and support they are providing. Their focus in not about the disease…..but the Person with the Disease! I was inspired by his presentation and learned how little I really knew about LIVESTRONG. Over 3.5 million cancer survivors have received support and 55 million dollars have been raised for cancer programs and services.
Patients provided responses to LIVESTRONG on their most common needs with the top five common issues being financial and insurance concerns, more information about their cancer diagnosis, other effects down the road, emotional support needs and questions, as well as nutrition and exercise. LIVESTRONG is committed to addressing identified needs.
Navigation Services at LIVESTRONG are focused on the depth of the services, not the breadth. Patients on average have 9 interactions per year. Some of the needs identified and addressed are financial assistance, emotional support services, peer to peer matching, and access to clinical trials. Data has shown 87% of patients are not informed of the costs of their treatment plan. Though this is not a common practice with many facilities, the audience was encouraged to consider this valuable information to patients. The importance of patients’ understanding the costs they will be accruing allows them time to research and obtain services for assistance.
Community programs offered are based on individual community needs. LIVESTRONG helps with funding, helping to launch and to deliver. An example is a free 12-week fitness and recovery program in more than 566 YMCA locations. A second community program example is classroom lessons for grades K-12, videos and printable worksheets to educate students about the effects of cancer in their community and empower them to take action in the fight against cancer. Since inception more than 1 million students have participated in this free program. More than 1,250 couples since inception of a specialized fertility services have been supported when dealing with a cancer diagnosis during their child bearing years. LIVESTRONG has saved couples more than $32 million in medical and fertility preservation related expenses.
These highlighted services and programs focus on delivery of better solutions, but are reactive that help solve problems after they happen. LIVESTRONG believe they have an ethical obligation to also be proactive in identifying solutions ahead of the curve. Advocacy groups are concentrating on these efforts.
More information can be obtained from LIVESTRONG.org.