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PAN Case Managers Undergo Cancer Support Community’s Esteemed Distress Training Program


Washington, DC, May 28, 2013 – Patient Access Network (PAN) case managers attended training sessions last week to better equip themselves to serve patients who are experiencing distress because of their diagnosis with a chronic illness. Mitch Golant, PhD, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives of the Cancer Support Community and veteran educator, lead the training program which included both the science behind patient distress and communication exercises to help case managers with the most difficult patient situations.

According to a 2005 study published in Cancer, 47% of people with cancer have distress severe enough to qualify for psychiatric diagnosis, making it the most under-reported and common side effect of cancer. Dr. Golant explained to the group that chronic illness patients often face distress at similar levels. “If a patient participates in their fight for recovery along with their health care team, they will improve the quality of their life and may enhance the possibility of recovery,” said Dr. Golant as he explained the Cancer Support Community Empowerment Model.

“The levels of distress experienced by newly diagnosed cancer patients are equivalent to the distress levels of people who witnessed 9/11,” explained Dr. Golant. “It is imperative that the people they reach out to for help are prepared and knowledgeable about the challenges these patients face.”

“PAN’s case managers are on the front lines when it comes to providing patient support,” explained Korab Zuka, Vice President of External Relations and Patient Services. “Many patients call us with the intention of receiving financial assistance, but truly just want to talk to someone about what they’re going through,” Mr. Zuka continued. “That’s where we set ourselves apart – by encouraging our case managers to tailor the patient’s call to their individual needs, ensuring we assist our patients using a more holistic approach.”

To learn more about PAN Foundation’s financial assistance programs or to apply for assistance, visit www.PANfoundation.org or call 1-866-316-PANF (7263); counselors are available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm ET.

About Cancer Support Community

The Cancer Support Community is an international non-profit dedicated to providing support, education and hope to people affected by cancer. Likely the largest employer of psychosocial oncology mental health professionals in the United States, CSC offers a menu of personalized services and education for all people affected by cancer. Its global network brings the highest quality cancer support to the millions of people touched by cancer. These support services are available through a network of professionally-led community-based centers, hospitals, community oncology practices and online, so that no one has to face cancer alone.

About the PAN Foundation

Patient Access Network Foundation is dedicated to providing help and hope to patients who would otherwise be unable to afford breakthrough medical treatments. PAN envisions a society in which every individual can access needed medical care, offering hope for a healthy tomorrow. PAN provides assistance through nearly 50 disease-specific programs designed to help patients being treated for certain cancers, chronic illnesses, and rare diseases. Through our streamlined application process and state of the art online tools, we are able to ensure that patients are put on the fast track to therapy.