b'8CONCORD HOSPITAL TRUSTHOPE COVID-19 PivotUndergoing cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic added multiple layers of stress to an already frightening and stressful time for patients and their familiesforcing the Payson Center for Cancer Cares HOPE Resource Center to make major changes in the way it provides important support services.Patients received chemotherapy or radiationPatients are so thankful that they are ableThrough the pandemic, HOPE Resource treatments with no family members byto connect with other cancer survivorsCenter staffhas persevered, expanding their side, support groups they relied onsafely, Druke said. their roles and learning new technology for for encouragement and information fromMany medically vulnerable cancer patientsphone and video links to fi nd new ways fellow cancer survivors could not be held infeel more isolated, especially because ofto stay connected with patients and person and, for many, transportation to andtheir higher risks from COVID-19 exposure.their families.from treatment was complicated.So, in addition to reaching out personally,But Druke said patients really deserve But HOPE Resource Center staffmembersHOPE staffhave been connecting patientsthe credit.gladly expanded their roles to help patientswith community resources such as onlineThey are the ones who are enduring their and families in their cancer journey. classes or other activities. whole cancer journey, but doing it during Transportation has been difficult for manythis time of COVID-19, which just requires patients, with high-risk family membersmuch more perseverance from them, unable to drive and transportation programsshe said.such as one from the American Cancer Society on hold because of the pandemic. In response, HOPE staffconnects patientsApps for Sleep to volunteer driver programs in a patientsand Relaxationcommunity, or programs such as the Payson Centers Lend Me a Hand Fund that can help cover the cost of transportation that family or friends might be able to provide.Cancer Support With extra precautions, patients continued Groupswith treatment, accompanied and comforted by a new extended familyHOPEs social workers, nurse navigatorsCancer and dietitian.Education A couple of patients were really anxiousand Supportwith their fi rst chemotherapy treatmentsLearn How to and I went up to sit with them, said Oncology Social Worker Nancy Druke. TheyMake Your Own needed that additional support because the family couldnt be there, so we have beenSpring Cleaning standing in. Family members also are more anxiousRecipesbecause they cant comfort their loved ones in person, so they need additional support, often provided by phone by HOPEs social workers, nurse navigators and dietitian.That is the good work that we like to do, Druke said. Now there is just more of it. HOPE also moved its cancer support groups online when COVID-19 safety guidelines ended the valuable in-person sessions.'