The hours and days following a cancer diagnosis are emotional, frightening, and confusing. With appointments to arrange, doctors to visit, and tests to run, it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s why Kettering Health Network’s oncology program is offering a unique service for cancer patients – a specialized hotline for those looking for help.
A new cancer call center serves as the first point of contact for many who are on their first steps in their cancer journey. The call center, which opened on July 1, helps patients navigate through the services Kettering Health Network offers at all of its hospitals, including oncologists, social workers, dieticians, financial guidance, and support groups.
“A newly diagnosed cancer patient is overwhelmed and not sure where to start,” said Rae Norrod, oncology service line manager at Kettering. “A person further along in their cancer journey may not be aware of all Kettering Health Network has to offer at all of our locations. When they call, the trained professionals at the call center help to connect these patients with the right people, resources, and information.”
Although call center experts cannot give medical advice, they can direct the patient to the correct Kettering Health Network resource, greatly reducing multiple call transfers and frustrations. The experts start by assessing the needs of the caller and provide as much information about Kettering Health Network cancer services as possible. The experts direct the caller to the appropriate resource such as a physician referral, social workers, registered dietitians, financial counselors, or certified oncology nurses.
“While we’ve provided compassionate cancer care at our hospitals,” explained Ken Chaij, network oncology director, “this is the first time we’ve combined our resources into a comprehensive service for the community, and are calling them Kettering Cancer Care.”
Cancer is the second leading cause of death. “That’s why Kettering Cancer Care is so important to our community,” said Chaij. “Kettering Health Network has put a deliberate emphasis on cancer services in 2013.. In addition to establishing the new call center, Kettering Cancer Care has reached out through mailings, Facebook, and a new commercial that debuts later this summer.”
Two cancer care experts are available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 1-855-500-CURE (2873).