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Idea to Arm Cancer Patients with Information Specific to Their Disease and Treatment Receives Nod, Grant from American Cancer Society

Individual DVDs Developed By McLaren Health Care's Great Lakes Cancer

Institute Will Be Expanded With $102,000, Three-Year Grant Program Goal To Provide National Availability Of DVDs, Web sites To Cancer


FLINT, Mich., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Providing cancer patients with the information they need to actively participate in their healing may become an easier task thanks to a grant from the American Cancer Society to McLaren Health Care's Great Lakes Cancer Institute. The $102,000 grant, administered over three years, aims to make individual patient DVDs and secure Web sites, created by McLaren's Great Lakes Cancer Institute, something that will eventually be available to cancer patients nationwide.

The DVDs, introduced two years ago at GLCI's Ingham Regional campus in Lansing, Mich., include a personal introduction and biography by the patient's doctor, as well as specific information about the stage and form of their cancer; what to expect as a standard of care; types of therapies available to them and strategies the caregiver team expects to use to treat the cancer. The DVD is updated as needed each time the patient comes in for treatment.

Patients will soon be able to access all the information on the DVDs online by accessing their profile with a user name and password on a secure Web site. The individual patient pages will include links to other resources and will be updated on the same schedule as the DVD.

"Once a patient hears the word 'cancer,' they are shocked and may not be able to retain much information you tell them at the moment," said Ray Demers, M.D., President and CEO of the Great Lakes Cancer Institute. "We also thought there had to be a better way of giving patients the information they need to be strong advocates in their own healing then handing them reams of information that has nothing to do with their specific form of cancer; or with the team of physicians that will be treating them.

"We thought an individual DVD would help solve a lot of these issues. We're thrilled that the American Cancer Society agrees with us," Demers said.

The information provided on the DVD is tailored to the latest evidence-based clinical practice guidelines available through the ACS database. Treatment recommendations are specific, and include performance measurement.

"To my knowledge, we are the first organization to develop this tool to educate patients about their particular type of cancer and how they actively participate in their care," Demers said. "We encourage our patients to use the DVD with their family, or to bring the DVD along for a second opinion so that there aren't questions that go unasked."

The customized DVDs are already available for breast and lung cancers. Production is underway on DVDs and Web sites for prostate and colon cancers and lymphoma.

Because the DVD B-roll and physician introductions are specific to the hospital and physicians working with the individual patient, GLCI has rolled out the DVDs within its own network on a deliberate schedule. GLCI's Lansing, Michigan campus was the original development site for the breast cancer DVD and received an American Cancer Society award last year for their efforts. Affiliated GLCI centers in Flint, Bay City and Lapeer, Mich. are working to produce DVD information around other selected cancers to share across the GLCI network. The Ted B. Wahby Cancer Center at Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center will be able to provide the DVDs to patients by the end of the year.

"We think that a similar model could be used for patients being treated for any number of illnesses," Demers said. "Patients are already using the Internet to find information about their disease and treatment, but the big issue is finding information that's specific to you. This gives them a tool made just for them that offers real options specific to their illness. We think that's a powerful tool. And we're thrilled that the American Cancer Society has given us a chance to realize its potential."

About Great Lakes Cancer Institute: GLCI incorporates the latest in medical research from Michigan State University (MSU) and the strength of the McLaren Health Care facilities and physicians to provide state-of-the-art cancer treatment at six McLaren Health Care campuses in Lansing, Flint, Lapeer, Mount Clemens, Pontiac and Bay City, Michigan. The result is the timely delivery of newly discovered treatment options to physicians and patients in communities throughout Michigan. Beyond treatment, GLCI sponsors community education and preventive programs at member institutions throughout the McLaren network.

To find out more about GLCI, visit

About McLaren Health Care: Recognized by Verispan as one of the top Integrated Health Networks in the nation, McLaren Health Care includes more than 150 locations, 15,000 employees and nearly 3,600 physicians. It includes eight regional hospitals: McLaren Regional Medical Center in Flint; Lapeer Regional Medical Center; Ingham Regional Medical Center and Ingham Regional Orthopedic Hospital in Lansing; Bay Regional Medical Center and Bay Special Care Hospital in Bay City; Mt. Clemens Regional Medical Center in Mt. Clemens and POH Medical Center in Pontiac. Visiting Nurse Services of Michigan, an award winning home health provider, and McLaren Health Plan, a top rated commercial and Medicaid HMO are also a part of the system. To find out more about how we're changing the future of health care, visit

SOURCE McLaren Health Care
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