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LRCP Patient Assistance Program marks five years of helping Patients in Need


For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2009

(LONDON, Ontario) –. The London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP) at London Health Sciences Centre is marking the fifth year of its Patient Assistance Program (program). Since 2004, the program has been helping adult cancer patients in Southwestern Ontario who have a financial burden as a result of their cancer treatment.

A 2006 research study confirmed that the financial burden for cancer patients ranged between $200 to more than $500 per month, depending on employee benefit packages or health insurance they may have. Tina Plat-Dekoter, social worker at LRCP adds: “The impact isn’t to patients alone as their caregivers also take time off work to care for their sick family member. This can further decrease a household’s income at a time when they need it most.”

The Patient Assistance Program is a single point of access to two distinct funds established at LRCP: the Massel-Cruickshank Breast Cancer Patient Assistance Fund and the Gene Goodreau Patient Assistance Fund. Both are intended to provide emergency, short-term payment for items, when all other funding sources are exhausted. A two-page application form is all that is required to help assess a patient’s needs and start the process.

"For some people, the Patient Assistance Program can be the difference between getting or skipping treatment because of out-of-pocket costs. I have seen patients not show up because they simply could not afford the transportation,” explains Plat-Dekoter.

Some of the items covered include but are not limited to wigs, prostheses, mastectomy bras, childcare during treatment, special nutrition supplements, respite care, medicine and transportation when Canadian Cancer Society driver volunteers are not available. “I was told the LRCP Patient Assistance Program might be able to pay for my hotel stay while my husband was undergoing treatment. Your generosity is unbelievable. My whole family thanks you so much” says Nancy Renaud whose husband Frank was undergoing treatment at LRCP.

"This is a program that not only has real impact to the patient, but is practical and meaningful too. The simple act of covering nutrition beverages for the month can leave the biggest impression for a patient and make their journey to recovery that much better,” explains Brian Orr, regional vice-president for Cancer Services.

Cancer patients who are being treated at its affiliated regional sites (Chatham, Owen Sound, Sarnia, St. Thomas, Stratford, Wingham, Woodstock), London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care – London are also eligible to apply.


About London Health Sciences Centre

London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for over 130 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

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For more information contact:

Stephan Beckhoff
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 74772

After-hours assistance:

Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call