KCH Integrates Cancer Support Community

KCH Integrates Cancer Support Community

September 16, 2019, 1:19 PM HST (Updated September 16, 2019, 4:14 PM

Kona Community Hospital (KCH) Cancer Center hosted an open house event on Sept. 14, 2019, to introduce its partnership with The Cancer Support Community (CSC). The partnership will deliver social and emotional support services to those touched by cancer in West Hawai‘i.

KCH is the first hospital in Hawai‘i to integrate CSC’s programs and services into the hospital setting, a KCH press release said.

Susan Ash-Lee, senior director of Clinical Services at CSC introduced the organization, whose focus is on three major pillars—direct services, policy and advocacy, and research and training. The CSC’s affiliate network includes 175 locations in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Israel.

Patient- and caregiver-centered resources now available via the KCH/CSC partnership include MyLifeLine, an online support community that fosters connection, inspiration and healing through interactive blogs and community discussion boards. Additionally, CSC’s Helping Calendar provides practical and private support to patients, their families and their friends during the cancer journey.

The CSC’s Cancer Support Helpline and “Open To Options” guided discussions are staffed by licensed mental health professionals and offer short-term supportive counseling. These services are personalized and free.

Ash-Lee also presented the Cancer Support Community’s recent partnership with Airbnb. This collaboration offers free housing to cancer patients and caregivers who must travel for treatment or medical care. The program provides relief for those facing a financial struggle to travel away from home for care.

“Social and emotional support services, as well as housing assistance, are all greatly needed in West Hawai‘i,” said Vicky Atkinson, RN, patient navigator at the KCH Cancer Center. “We’re very excited to provide these resources to our patients and their caregivers.”


Also on hand at the Saturday event was KCH Pharmacist Marilinda Passon, who answered patients’ questions about medications and supplements. Likewise, KCH dietitian Sue Little was available to discuss how food and nutrition affect cancer treatment.

The Cancer Support Community’s mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community, the release said. For information, visit www.cancersupportcommunity.org.