annual report 2020
meeting the covid Challenge
The Virtues of Virtual
Our response to COVID-19 brought together our entire organization, leading patient advocates, professional organizations, funders, and thought leaders to identify the unique challenges cancer patients faced and to best support them during this uncertain and terrifying time.
CSC’s Research and Training Institute conducted a nationwide study to evaluate how the pandemic affected various aspects of cancer patients’ lives. Wave I of the survey included over 500 survivors, patients, and caregivers.
covid-19 coalition
The need to craft proactive solutions led us to launch the COVID-19 Collection Action for Cancer Solutions initiative. The coalition, composed of 30 key oncology thought leaders and stakeholders, will work with us to analyze the effects of the pandemic on people living with cancer and develop strategies to increase access to testing, care, and support.
The Impact of COVID-19 on People with Cancer
In 2019, CSC launched the House of Hope, the first full-time cancer care program on native land. A collaboration between leaders of the Navajo Nation, CSC, the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation, and advocates Jeff and Brandy Tomhave, the center offers comprehensive oncology services and culturally sensitive support and navigation to Navajo and Hopi patients and caregivers.
Since its opening, there have been 2,047 total visits by patients and 1,145 chemo infusions or injections (versus zero prior to that date). A year later, this encouraging progress came to a halt as COVID-19 ravaged the community. By May 2020, the Navajo Nation had the highest per capita infection rate in the United States and was struggling to obtain basic necessities.
CSC stepped in, establishing the Navajo Nation Emergency Relief Fund to ensure delivery of food, PPE, and other essential materials to community residents and frontline workers. Thanks once again to the Tomhaves and Flagstaff-based Canyon Diablo Spirits and Distillery, we also provided much-needed sanitizer and other critical supplies.
‟CSC has been a long-time friend of Tuba City that has gone above and beyond what is expected of a friend."
―TJ Riggs Director of Program Development at TCRHCC
Social distancing and quarantine have been especially hard on cancer patients and their families. The new CSC website was there to help, with a host of digital programming, and virtual activities and services delivered instantly to wherever they were. Visitors could explore cooking videos in our kitchen, get tips on wellness in our mind-body studio, browse the latest resources in the stacks of our library, or learn more about their disease and treatment options through our educational webinars and videos.
Our in-person Affiliate support groups and classes also went virtual, which meant that even as the world got smaller, we were able to provide thousands more patients with valuable information and companionship.
"CSC felt like a team I could count on. They made me feel secure in an unsecure part of my life.”
―Lisa, Helpline Caller
Virtual Support Programs
Navigator Ruby Meet Ruby, our Community Navigator.
Through 30 videos, Ruby covers a range of issues that matter most to cancer patients and their families—from grassroots advocacy to COVID to unemployment benefits. Find her on CSC's website and YouTube channel, winner of a gold medal in the Digital Health Awards this past fall.
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Cancer Support Helpline: A Lifesaver on the Line A cancer diagnosis is tough. A diagnosis during a pandemic is tougher. For patients facing cancer during COVID the best place to deal with the questions and fears was the CSC Helpline, where callers could speak to one of our navigator/resource specialists and get free, personalized help on a variety of topics, including housing, coping with emotions, financial challenges and medical complications. A true lifeline to patients in need, the Helpline connected callers to care, emergency funds, housing, and other resources. Using our innovative Distress Screening Tool, specialists were able to update other CSC departments about the issues of greatest importance and concern to patients and caregivers so that support programs could be developed in real time.
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MyLifeLine Online Support
We made it easy to connect with family and friends through personal websites on MyLifeLine and find support and solace on discussion boards with peers.
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