Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center launches community outreach ‘COPE’ program

The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – New Jersey — with locations in Cherry Hill and Washington Township — said it recently launched a new patient and community-centered outreach program, COPE.

COPE — which stands for Community Outreach Partnership and Engagement — is a wide-reaching initiative aimed at supporting all people with a diagnosis of cancer and their families by partnering with the community to increase access to cancer-related education, cancer risk reduction services, as well as early detection and screening care.

“As part of the nationally acclaimed Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, we have a very strong commitment to the communities we serve,” Dr. Ana María López, professor and chief of cancer services at Jefferson Health – New Jersey, said. “Along with caring for people with cancer, we plan to partner with the communities we serve to reduce cancer risk. The new COPE program is very outward-focused, as well as proactive, so we can provide individuals and organizations with the services they need.”

In planning for the COPE launch, Jefferson Health – New Jersey cancer program leadership and staff strategically expanded on existing community partnerships, while developing new opportunities for screening and education through health fairs and community- and faith-based events.

In addition, the COPE program will work to engage the next generation of cancer care teams — including nursing students and other health profession students.

“Education is the first step towards cancer risk reduction for caregivers, patients, and community members,” López said.

The COPE program will enhance the already existing array of free virtual programming aimed at supporting cancer survivors and caregivers. These include healing art, writing, therapeutic movement, yoga and nutrition classes; and virtual cancer support groups for prostate and breast cancer. COPE has also partnered with the Mount Laurel YMCA to participate in its weekly LiveStrong exercise and well-being program.

“Our efforts will continue to expand as we work closely with community organizations to provide needed services,” López said. “We are committed to reaching all community members with valuable education, screenings, and supportive care services.”