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Published on November 02, 2009

Mercy Re-launches Cancer Wellness Program With New Name, Broader Scope

Nov. 3 Benefit Event Initiates Program's Next Phase

Mercy Medical Center and the Mercy Regional Cancer Center announce the re-launching of a popular cancer wellness program with a new name and an expanded scope of services. The new Thrive Cancer Fitness & Wellness program, formerly called Especially for Me, is designed to empower all cancer patients-women and men-and their families with the tools they need to deal with the physical, spiritual and emotional effects of cancer. Mercy has enhanced the program based on participant and caregiver feedback.

The core component of Thrive is an eight-week exercise, nutrition and personal training program centered around the patient to improve quality of life. The program is designed to offer guidance in assisting with timely return to daily activities and fatigue management.

"We've seen remarkable results in our patients and the new name reflects an evolution and expansion of the program," says Dr. Janet Merfeld, Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director of Mercy's Hall Radiation Center. "Patients feel a sense of empowerment and see significant improvement in their quality of life. It's not just about surviving cancer, it's about thriving."

In addition to the traditional elements of the program, Thrive now includes:

  • Stress reduction and relaxation techniques
  • Healing arts (painting, photography, music, journaling)
  • Integrative medicine (massage, Reiki, Reflexology)
  • Opportunities for creative expression

Program participants need to have a diagnosis of cancer and have their cancer treatment completed at least one month prior to starting the fitness/exercise portion of the program.

Mercy's Cancer Fitness & Wellness program started in 2006 as an evidence-based supportive care pilot study. It was funded primarily by the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It was awarded Modern Healthcare Magazine's prestigious 2006 Spirit in Excellence Award.

To officially re-launch the program, a benefit event will take place on Tues., Nov. 3. The event entitled, "Women, Wine & Wisdom" will be held at the Cedar Rapids home of John and Dyan Smith. More than 130 women are expected to attend. Proceeds benefit the Thrive program.

For more information about Mercy's Thrive program, call (319) 365-HOPE (4673).

Check out a recent article on Thrive in The Catholic Health World Magazine.