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Northeast Georgia Medical Center is the First Hospital in Georgia to Offer STAR Program® Certified Cancer Rehabilitation

Published on June 28, 2012
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Today marks the launch of Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s (NGMC) new cancer rehabilitation program designed to help cancer survivors function at the highest possible level.  The collaborative effort of The Cancer Center at NGMC and The Rehabilitation Institute at NGMC make NGMC the first hospital in Georgia to offer STAR Program® certified cancer rehabilitation.

The STAR Program, which stands for Survivorship Training and
Rehabilitation, is the nation’s first certification program to providehospitals with the tools and training needed to minimize the debilitating side effects of cancer treatment.  Clinicians who have completed the STAR Program Certification course use their skills to provide treatment tailored to the specific needs of cancer patients who are experiencing:
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Limb swelling (lymphedema)
  • General weakness
  • Cognitive problems
  • Balance issues
  • Difficulty talking or swallowing 
NGMC’s cancer rehabilitation care is provided by a multidisciplinary group of trained clinicians who successfully completed the STAR Program Certification course including:

-  Physicians
-  Neuropsychologist
-  Oncology nurses
-  Physical therapists
-  Occupational therapists
-  Speech-language pathologists
-  Registered dietician
-  Cancer navigator
-  Licensed Clinical Social Worker

 “We’re still offering the same great level of service that The Rehabilitation Institute has built its reputation on, only now we’re more sensitive to difficulties survivors face,” says Donna Moss, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and coordinator of NGMC’s cancer rehabilitation program.  “We now have physical, occupational and speech therapists working in concert with oncology specialists to care for patients, and everyone is on the same page.”

In addition to providing acute inpatient care at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, STAR Program certified clinicians also provide outpatient cancer rehabilitation services at The Rehabilitation Institute’s satellite locations in Braselton, Cleveland, Dawsonville and Gainesville.

“Cancer and its treatment can result in incredible physical, emotional, occupational, spiritual and financial burdens for patients and their families,” says Frank G. Lake, III, MD, a radiation oncologist with Northeast Georgia Cancer Specialists and STAR Program certified clinician at The Cancer Center at NGMC.  “The STAR Program certification helps us offer another layer of support to lessen these burdens during all phases of a patient's cancer journey, and I look forward to referring my patients into the program.”

Most of NGMC’s cancer rehabilitation services are reimbursed by health insurance providers; staff can work with patients to verify insurance benefits for their specific plans.  If you think cancer rehabilitation is right for you, ask your physician to refer you to NGMC’s cancer rehabilitation program or call 770-219-8200 for more information.
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