Cancer care in Volusia and Flagler counties has been enhanced with the opening of the area’s first survivorship clinic by Halifax Health – Center for Oncology. The clinic is located at Twin Lakes Medical Center, 1890 LPGA Boulevard, Suite 140 in Daytona Beach.
“Halifax Health is proud to offer the area’s most comprehensive survivorship program with the opening of this clinic,” explains Debra Trovato, director of oncology services for Halifax Health Medical Center. She adds, “We first announced the opening of the survivorship clinic at our annual Celebration of Life event in June which is attended almost entirely by local cancer survivors. We were pleased with the response we received for the clinic at that event as this is a new concept for our area that will provide continued care for cancer survivors after they have successfully completed their prescribed therapies and treatments.”
Provided as a complimentary service, Halifax Health’s enhanced survivorship program includes a survivorship nurse navigator who is dedicated to helping patients immediately following the completion of their cancer treatment. Susan Joss, RN, OCN, CBPN-IC was recently hired to be Halifax Health’s survivorship nurse navigator. Based at the Halifax Health – Center for Oncology on the community hospital system’s Daytona Beach campus, Joss provides patients with advice and support as they advance through recovery. She also works closely with the patient’s physician to provide real-time answers to their questions.
A system navigator for the patient, as well as a patient educator and advocate, care coordinator and community outreach connection, the survivorship nurse navigator can also: assist with addressing questions about the effects from treatment and other medical and life issues that occur during post treatment; expedite scheduling for appointments or tests; ensure access to social counselors, nutritionists, and local support agencies; explore and assist with post treatment financial or work-related concerns; manage long-term or late effects from treatment with the patient’s medical care team; and provide coping strategies for dealing with fear and or anxiety.
In addition, the survivorship nurse navigator provides patients a care plan listing all prior treatments and future appointments, which empowers patients with information they need on all aspects of post-therapy recovery.
“A year or two after completing their treatments and therapies and working with their survivorship nurse navigator, patients can then be served by the experts at our survivorship clinic at Twin Lakes Medical Center,” Trovato says.
Gregory Favis, M.D., a board certified hematologist who has been in practice for more than 40 years, heads the survivorship clinic at Twin Lakes. Dr. Favis recently announced his retirement so he could transition from medical oncologist to medical director of the survivorship clinic at Twin Lakes.
Kathryn Shunnarah, ARNP, is an experienced, oncology-trained nurse practitioner who assists Dr. Favis in the continued monitoring of the healthcare of the clinic’s patients via scheduled check-ups.
Dr. Favis notes, “With this clinic, Halifax Health is committing experienced clinicians and other resources to establish its own space, separate from our Centers for Oncology which are located in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange and New Smyrna Beach,” adding, “We did this because we want those we care for to feel like the survivors they are – not cancer patients.”
Cancer survivors, who are one or more years past the successful completion of their cancer therapy or treatment and are seeking continued survivorship services, can call 386.425.4061 for more information on Halifax Health’s survivorship clinic. Residents who have recently moved to Volusia or Flagler counties after receiving cancer treatment elsewhere, including out-of-state, can access the clinic’s survivorship services.