The Austin Hatcher Foundation partners with Children’s Hospital to provide psycho-oncology services for pediatric cancer survivors’ clinic

Posted on August 18, 2015

Chattanooga, Tenn. – A partnership between Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders and the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer’s Hatch’s House of Hope now provides psycho-oncology services in the hospital’s Survivorship Clinic for pediatric cancer survivors at Erlanger East.

The comprehensive Survivorship Clinic was created in 2013 by Erlanger’s team of pediatric oncology specialists, spearheaded by Dr. Manoo Bhakta and Dr. Meghann McManus, and offers a multidisciplinary approach to meet the needs of children, adolescents, and adults who were diagnosed with childhood cancer. The goal of the clinic is to follow the patients’ progress throughout their teenage and adult years and help researchers understand how cancer treatments have lasting effects in children as they grow older while also providing solutions to improve education and treatments for future generations.

As a new member of the Survivorship Clinic team, Dr. April Nesin provides screening and education to pediatric cancer survivors and their family members. The purpose of the screening is to identify and treat any late-onset social, emotional, and cognitive issues that have developed as a result of the cancer treatment to reduce the impact of complications for the survivors.

Each year, approximately 15,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Due to much success of research and treatment, survival rates have increased dramatically; approximately 85% of all patients will survive five years or more. Currently, there is an estimated 375,000 adult survivors of childhood cancer in the United States, and a majority of those survivors have at least one chronic health condition. About 35% of the survivors between the ages of 20 and 39 have neurocognitive difficulties and 15% report problems with work, activity level, and mental health problems including pain and anxiety or fear. With the current numbers today and the hope for even higher survival rates in the future, there is a clear consensus among experts that long-term follow-up is important for all childhood cancer survivors.

Consultation services with Dr. Nesin, through the Survivorship Clinic at Children’s Hospital, is provided at no cost to the patients and families through Hatch’s House of Hope. The Children’s Hospital Survivorship Clinic is located at Erlanger East Hospital on Gunbarrel Road. The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer’s Hatch’s House of Hope is located in the Erlanger Medical Mall, Suite 232, on Third Street. For more information on how cancer survivors can participate in the clinic and services, please call 423-778-5236.

About Children’s Hospital at Erlanger:

As the only medical center in the Chattanooga and tri-state region devoted solely to children, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger provides the best in children’s health care by viewing the world from a unique perspective of children and understanding what they need. Children’s Hospital is a Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center, the highest designation in the state for pediatrics. The hospital offers a full range of pediatric subspecialists, as well as a pediatric ER, ICU, and Level III neonatal intensive care unit, providing the highest level of care in the region for premature and sick infants. Visit www.erlanger.org/childrens.

About Austin Hatcher Foundation:

The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer’s mission is to erase the effects of pediatric cancer and optimize each child’s quality of life through essential specialized interventions beginning at the time of diagnosis and continuing throughout survivorship. The Foundation provides services to children with cancer, and their families, through its psycho-oncology center, Hatch’s House of Hope. The Foundation provides all services at no cost to the families. Services are funded solely by the generous donations of supporters. For more information, visit www.hatcherfoundation.org., or contact the Foundation via email at info@hatcherfoundation.org. To contact Hatch’s House of Hope directly, call 423-243-3471. Follow the Foundation on Facebook at facebook.com/austinhatcherfoundation and on Twitter @austinhatcherfo.

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