Cancer Hope Network, Atlantic Health System launch new breast cancer peer support program

Cancer Hope Network and Atlantic Health System have partnered to establish a Breast Cancer Peer Support Program across all Atlantic Health System oncology facilities.

This collaborative initiative matches patients receiving care for breast cancer at Atlantic Health System with a trained peer mentor who has been through a similar cancer experience, while also offering a platform for cancer survivors to give back to their community by volunteering as peer mentors.

The new Breast Cancer Peer Support Program is an important part of a whole-person, patient-centered approach to cancer care and is a pathway to hope that is available at any point in a cancer journey.

The program also leverages the expertise and resources of both organizations, bringing together a multidisciplinary team comprising social workers, breast nurse navigators, integrative support services, oncology managers, community volunteers and Cancer Hope Network staff.

“Cancer impacts every aspect of a patient’s life, and there are many challenges that arise outside of medical treatment that patients and caregivers are often left to navigate on their own,” Beth Blakey, executive director & chief operating officer of Cancer Hope Network, said. “This partnership represents a significant step forward in our collective goal to fill the gaps in cancer care. We are thrilled to work with the Atlantic Health team toward realizing our vision of a world in which no one faces cancer alone.”

Cancer Hope Network provides personalized, supportive connections for patients and caregivers based on their diagnosis and treatment, as well as their mental, emotional, social, cultural and spiritual needs, individual lifestyle choices and other personal circumstances. For over 40 years, Cancer Hope Network has been training peer mentors to constructively and safely share their experiences, offer practical advice and answer questions with a goal of inspiring hope and confidence.

“Atlantic Health System is committed to helping our patients along every step of their cancer journey,” Lydia Nadeau, executive director, Atlantic Health System Cancer Care, said. “This partnership with the Cancer Hope Network is a testament to ensuring we are meeting our patients’ needs in innovative ways, in service to their wellbeing and recovery.”

The program will include the identification and development of breast cancer survivor volunteers across Atlantic Health System sites: Chilton Medical Center, Hackettstown Medical Center, Morristown Medical Center, Newton Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center.