GBMC Greater Living Discusses Cancer Survivorship
The OSS team includes two social workers, an outreach coordinator, a survivorship nurse, and a patient resource navigator. They provide everything from counseling, to assistance with finances, to transportation coordination, and anything else a patient might need. "We want to be the people who can solve your problem or get you to the people who can. If you need something that isn't clinical, come see us," Brandon says. If GBMC can't meet your needs in-house, the OSS team is able to refer you to the proper resources outside of the organization.
Oncology support services are available to anyone associated with GBMC — both patients and caregivers. A cancer diagnosis can be incredibly draining for family and close friends of the patient. Navigating through the complexities of the ever-changing healthcare system and simply knowing how to be there for their loved one sometimes feels insurmountable. "One of the hardest things," says Brandon, "is getting caretakers to care for themselves first." He likened it to using oxygen masks on an airplane. "If you aren't breathing, you can't help someone else breathe."
GBMC works hard to make sure that oncology support services are accessible for everyone. "We don't charge a single penny for anything we do," explains Brandon. "We would never want finances to be the reason someone doesn't get what they need." The program is entirely funded by donors and proceeds from events like Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs, a steeplechase horse race held every year in Cockeysville.
Every year, Oncology Support Services also throws a Cancer Survivorship Celebration. After all, survivorship starts as soon as you are diagnosed and are living with cancer! All current and former GBMC cancer patients are invited! The event brings everyone together in a non-clinical setting to eat, dance, and simply celebrate life.
Watch the entire series:
Part 1 — Dr. Robert Donegan, MD, Medical Oncology
Part 2 — Brandon Costantino, Oncology Support Services at GBMC
Part 3 — Barbara Pisano Messing, The Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head & Neck Center, Johns Hopkins Head & Neck Surgery located at GBMC, and the Voice Center located at GBMC
Part 4 — Beth Nardone, Co-Chair of the Oncology Patient & Family Advisory Council and Cancer Survivor