The Oncology Navigation team connects patients and their families with resources within the Cancer Center, at UnityPoint Health, and in the community. Their goal is to educate and support patients and families throughout the cancer journey. The team is staffed by oncology certified nurses and social worker. This program is provided free of charge and not reimbursed through insurance, so it relies heavily on philanthropy and is only made possible because of the generosity of others.
Charlie Cutler Healing and Wellness Program
The Charlie Cutler Healing and Wellness Program supports patients and caregivers by providing tools to approach each day with renewed energy, hope and focus. It was built on the premise that alongside conventional medicine, there is great power in complementary therapies that support the mind, body and spirit. As a leader in compassionate cancer care, John Stoddard Cancer Center was the first cancer center in Des Moines to offer these services.
Currently available to our patients, families, and caregivers:
Volunteer Comfort Ambassadors take a comfort cart to patient rooms multiple times a week. The cart includes items such as warm blankets, nail care kit, lip balm, magazines, books, etc.
Twice a week, massage therapists offer massage therapy to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain and to improve sleep patterns.
Guided imagery, a form of deliberate, directed meditation, is offered to help reduce stress and soothe uncomfortable symptoms.
Aromatherapy is offered to improve the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of patients.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes are made available at no cost to patients and caregivers.
The Meals that Matter Program (additional information below) is made possible in part through funds provided by the Charlie Cutler Healing and Wellness Program.
In the future, additional treatments offered may include music therapy, yoga, meditation and more. This program is provided free of charge and not reimbursed through insurance, so it relies one-hundred percent on philanthropy.
The Compassion Fund provides support to patients and families beyond what the hospital can provide. Assistance is based on financial need and responds to the unique needs of patients and families. Examples include: gas cards for travel to appointments, Uber rides, lodging, small equipment, and one-time prescriptions. This assistance provides peace of mind and helps reduce stress on patients and families during a challenging time.
Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program
Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35. In response, John Stoddard Cancer Center and Blank Children's Hospital have joined together to provide coordinated care through specialized treatment and psychosocial support. The AYA program provides the care team with the necessary resources to deliver individualized care plans, increase enrollment in clinical trials, provide access to resources, raise awareness, and improve outcomes for this population.
In 2020 a new boutique salon opened in support of cancer patients of all ages. Cancer patients often experience changes in their appearance due to treatments or surgery. EMPOWER will help address this challenge by offering products and services that meet the unique needs of cancer patients, free of charge. Services include: head shaving, haircuts, shampoo, skin care. Items available at a reduced cost or free include: head scarves, hats, turbans. This service is provided by philanthropy.
Meals that Matter
To help support patients and families through COVID-19, thanks to the generosity of our community, John Stoddard Cancer Center now offers nutritionally balanced, ready-made meals for our patients and their caregivers at no cost. The recipes were developed in conjunction with our Stoddard dietitian and internal Food & Nutrition team, and the menu features full entrees as well as soup and fruit options.
The meals are available Tuesdays and Thursdays for all patients visiting Stoddard for chemotherapy and radiation treatments and for patients being discharged from the Powell 3 inpatient unit. This service not only helps ensure patients are receiving the nutrition they need to support healing and health, but also provide an opportunity to limit exposure and offer economic support.
Meals are available at no cost thanks to the generosity of donors and our amazing community! To make a donation to support others, contact Brenna Finnerty (515-241-6472) or Adam Haselhuhn (515-241-4305).
What's on Your Mind? Program
A cancer diagnosis changes the lives of those diagnosed and their families physically, financially, and emotionally. Through the "What's On Your Mind?" program, patients and families can spend time with a licensed psychologist to examine the issues they may be facing as a result of a cancer diagnosis and explore coping strategies. Each session is confidential and provided free of charge.
Powell 3 Inpatient Unit
Philanthropy is used to purchase items such as room recliners, books, and other supplies needed to enhance the patient experience and provide a healing environment.
The Healing Garden just off of the Powell 3 Inpatient Unit provides patients and families an opportunity to experience nature and be away from their rooms. This is also a peaceful place to reflect and have private conversations. Philanthropy purchases new furniture, replaces cushions for furniture, and enhancements such as lighting and artwork.
State-of-the-art technology is essential in the treatment of cancer. With each advancement, treatments become more precise and outcomes improve. Philanthropy has been instrumental in purchasing the most advanced technology for John Stoddard Cancer Center, making it possible to offer patients and families the best possible treatments close to home.
The Stoddard Survivorship Program is designed to help those who have completed treatment to live the best life possible as a survivor. Those participating in the program begin with a one-on-one interview with an oncology certified nurse who reviews treatments and long-term side effects, care plans for health promotion and maintenance, and financial, emotional, and nutritional concerns. Patients will also learn more about programs and services offered at John Stoddard Cancer Center such as support groups, psychological counseling, nutritional counseling, financial counseling, genetic counseling, pastoral care, the Oncology Arts in Healing program, and yoga. The Survivorship Program is provided free of charge and not reimbursed through insurance, so relies heavily on philanthropy.
Cancer Survivors Day
Each year John Stoddard Cancer Center brings together the community to celebrate the fortitude and strength of cancer survivors by hosting a free event for those fighting cancer, survivors, family members, and caregivers.
Pink Days Free Mammogram Program
John Stoddard Cancer Center provides free mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women who meet the eligibility guidelines of being over the age of 40 and income at or below 250% of the federal poverty income level. This includes follow-up diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasounds. Women who require testing and treatment beyond what is available through this program will be served through the Iowa Care For Yourself program.
Oncology Nursing Education
To assure cancer patients and families receive the best care possible, Oncology Nurses are provided with continuing education, training, and certifications. Nurses are encouraged to pursue additional education and certifications in the field of oncology. To help make this possible, full or partial financial assistance is made available to expand knowledge and improve skills to better serve patients and families.
Radiation Oncology Education
To assure cancer patients and families receive the best care possible members of the Radiation Oncology Team are provided with continuing education, training, and certification for assuring that cancer patients and their families receive the best and latest care possible.