The public is invited to join representatives of Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, and the Beth C. Wright Cancer Center, to learn more about local resources for cancer patients and their loved ones. A panel discussion will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 in the Howard Room of the Blue Hill Public Library, followed by informal discussion and refreshments. Sandra Smallidge, RN, of Surry who manages Blue Hill Memorial Hospital’s oncology unit, contacted the Beth C. Wright Cancer Center about co-sponsoring the event to help determine what cancer-related needs remain unmet in the area.
Michael Reisman, executive director of the Beth C. Wright Center, will describe the programs and services that the Center currently offers. The Beth C. Wright Center is located in Ellsworth and focuses on serving the residents of Hancock and Washington counties where the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates for cancer exceed the state and national averages. The Center networks with healthcare providers, hospitals, health centers, social service agencies, volunteer organizations, and the American Cancer Society to provide services. All of the Center’s programs and services are offered to cancer survivors and their families, friends and caregivers at no charge.
Blue Hill Memorial Hospital delivers a number of clinical services including chemotherapy, lymphedema therapy, and nutritional counseling for cancer patients and their loved ones. Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and its patients benefit from a close relationship with Eastern Maine Medical Center’s (EMMC’s) Cancer Care of Maine. Both Blue Hill Memorial Hospital and Eastern Maine Medical Center are affiliates of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems. In addition to treating cancer patients, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital is committed to the prevention and early diagnosis of the disease.
“Because we are a small, community hospital we really get to know our patients,” says Smallidge. “Often our patients are not aware that a registered dietician or an occupational therapist can provide services that result in a higher quality of life, and even speed recovery after months of chemotherapy or a major surgery. We work with each of our patients, and their loved ones, to determine what resources are most likely to help address symptoms like fluid retention, extreme fatigue, nausea, and lack of appetite.”
For more information on the March 21 program or Blue Hill Memorial Hospital’s oncology services, contact Smallidge at 374-3477.