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Gilda's Club Worldwide is a Proven Partner in Quality Cancer Care
Date:11/12/2007

New Institute of Medicine Study Reinforces Organization's Mission: Cancer

Support for the Whole Family, the Whole Time

NEW YORK, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Beyond hospital visits and varied medical treatments lies a new groundbreaking report confirming the benefit of addressing cancer patients' emotional and psychological needs. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has just released a study, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs, which reinforces Gilda's Club Worldwide's program philosophy that social and emotional support are integral to medical treatment when cancer is in the family.

Through report findings, the IOM issues a call to action among medical professionals to increase the standard of psychosocial care for all cancer patients. The study stated, "It has been shown that both cancer patients and their families are at increased risk for anxiety and depression related to the strain of the disease. These mental states can cause harmful health effects of their own, compounding the challenges of treatment."

Since opening its first red door in 1995, and well ahead of the IOM findings, Gilda's Club has developed program elements that researchers have now found help to improve the quality of survival. Twelve years ago, such programs were viewed as a luxury, not a mandate. Today, Gilda's Club is a leader in this area, offering a unique environment to share information and coping strategies through a variety of activities from yoga, tai chi, nutrition and cooking classes to networking and educational workshops and lectures, each reflecting the interests and needs of the local membership.

Founded by Joanna Bull, Gilda Radner's psychotherapist during her illness, Gilda's Club is the remarkable culmination of philosophy and inspiration built on Gilda's heartfelt wish that no one should face cancer alone.

"The uniqueness of Gilda's Club is more than the proven effectiveness of its program elements," says Bull. "No one is untouched emotionally when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. We know that when there is cancer in the family, everyone is affected, not just the person diagnosed, but the entire family and even their friends. We have incorporated this understanding of psychosocial health into all that Gilda's Clubs offer."

Additional findings of the IOM study confirm, "All components of the health care system that are involved in cancer care should explicitly incorporate attention to psychosocial needs into their policies, practices, and standards addressing clinical health care."

Free to all members, Gilda's Clubs are warm, welcoming, home-like meeting places that provide a planned program of emotional and social support as a supplement to medical care. The Gilda's Club program is not only for the diagnosed but also for children whose parent or loved one has cancer, the entire extended family and caring friends. Together, as a community, members learn to LIVE with cancer whatever the outcome.

Gilda's Club Worldwide has clubhouses in 22 cities throughout North America and 9 more properties in development. For more information on Gilda's Club Worldwide and their program philosophy please visit http://www.gildasclub.org. For the complete IOM study, visit http://www.nap.edu.

About the Institute of Medicine (IOM)

The IOM serves as adviser to the nation to improve health. Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public.

Institute of Medicine. Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2007.


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SOURCE Gilda's Club Worldwide
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