The Center for Rehabilitation at BMC has affiliated with Oncology Rehab Partners to enhance the accessibility of rehabilitation services for local oncology patients. Oncology Rehab Partners was created by Dr. Julie Silver, a physiatrist who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation. As a cancer survivor, Dr. Silver identified that she would benefit from rehabilitation but found accessing rehabilitation services problematic. As a result of her experience and extensive knowledge of rehabilitation she developed Oncology Rehab Services which offers the STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehab) Program to hospitals and clinicians providing care to oncology patients. The STAR program’s goal is to increase the awareness in both the medical community and among cancer survivors of the benefits that rehabilitation offers to cancer survivors unique needs.
The STAR program includes evidence-based training in oncology rehabilitation for an interdisciplinary team to provide optimal care to cancer survivors. Currently, 25 clinicians at BMC, including nurses, dietitians, social workers, case navigators, an oncologist, a strength and conditioning coach, physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists are in the process of completing the training. Once the training is completed, therapy-based protocols will be utilized for various cancer diagnosis and resultant functional deficits.
Rehabilitation can address a wide variety of treatment-related conditions and their symptoms including pain, fatigue, weakness, balance, gait problems, memory, swallowing, concentration,speech impairment and lymphedema. The Center for Rehabilitation looks forward to applying their expertise, via the STAR Program, to cancer survivors and becoming an integral component of the Cancer Center team in the H.E.A.L. Center’s exercise and rehabilitation program.
What is Cancer Rehabilitation?
Cancer rehabilitation is very similar to other types of rehabilitation after an illness or injury. A referral from you physician is required, and then an assessment and individualized treatment plan is developed by licensed clinicians in rehabilitation including physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Your rehabilitation plan will include goals of increasing strength and endurance, alleviating pain and improving your unique daily functional needs.