UCHealth launched a phone hotline and website this month for patients and families touched by cancer in northern Colorado.
The free service was based on patient feedback that it is often difficult to know where to start after receiving a cancer diagnosis. These resources provide the community immediate relief to the emotional crisis often associated with a cancer diagnosis.
“Cancer care is complicated,” said Dr. Miho Scott, a UCHealth medical oncologist. “There are so many paths cancer can take you on and it varies for each person. Some start with surgery, others with radiation, and others with chemotherapy. Not only is the diagnosis overwhelming, but navigating the options can be daunting.”
The hotline, 970.237.7700, is answered by knowledgeable staff members experienced with all types of cancers, treatment and customer service, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Callers will often be connected with a patient navigator, specially-trained oncology nurses. They provide free guidance to patients and their loved ones to understand treatment options and find resources such as transportation, financial assistance and emotional support.
“We know that while cancer is a disease of the body, it affects every area of your life, including your mind and spirit,” said Patti Frelund, manager of UCHealth’s patient navigator program. “It was clear that our community needed a resource to overcome confusion or barriers to cancer care.”
Patients with cancer often have more than 100 appointments with dozens of specialists in their first year of diagnosis alone. Reducing the burden of travel and visit frequency was a primary driver in building UCHealth’s new cancer center, opening in June in Fort Collins.
“The day our new cancer center opens, patients will be able to see multiple physicians during the same visit,” said Dr. Anne Kanard, a UCHealth medical oncologist. “We wanted to complement the physical single-entry process of the cancer center with the single hotline and website so our patients and their families can spend more time healing and less time navigating appointments.”
UCHealth also has cancer care clinics in Greeley and Loveland. Residents in these communities and throughout northern Colorado have full access to the support available through the hotline and website.
To learn more about UCHealth’s cancer care program and the new cancer center, visit uchealthcancercare.org
UCHealth is a Front Range health system that delivers the highest quality patient care with the highest quality patient experience. UCHealth combines Memorial Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, Colorado Health Medical Group and University of Colorado Hospital into an organization dedicated to health and providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. UCHealth partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and numerous community organizations to provide care. Separately, these institutions can continue providing superior care to patients and service to the communities they serve. Together, they push the boundaries of medicine, attracting more research funding, hosting more clinical trials and improving health through innovation.