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St. Joseph’s Hospital Offers Resources for Cancer Patients
Media Contact:
Beverly Littlejohn
Communications Coordinator
Office: (813) 554-8268

 St. Joseph’s Hospital Offers Resources for Cancer Patients

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 10, 2013) – According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year. “Usually a patient’s first thought is, ‘Am I going to die?’” said Ronda Buffington, community outreach resources coordinator, at St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Cancer Institute. After the initial shock wears off, a patient’s concerns turn to more pragmatic issues, such as, “Will my insurance pay for this?” “How will I get to my appointments?” “Where do I get a wig?”

To help patients navigate through the health care system, St. Joseph’s Hospital created a 20-person navigation team and a program entitled, “Cancer Orientation: Resources and Financial Information to Assist You.” The next session takes place Feb. 11, 6 p.m., at St. Joseph’s Hospital Medical Arts Building. Each program session is offered in English and Spanish, concurrently. “There’s no way one or two navigators can take care of the large population of cancer patients,” Buffington explained. “By having a multi-disciplinary team, we don’t have to pass people off to someone else when they have questions.” Each member of the team is co-educated so that they have knowledge of the resources available. “A patient may come to us through our Radiation Therapy Center or our Infusion Center, or even from another hospital or physician. Each member of the team has a master resource list for reference.”

Topics covered in “Cancer Orientation: Resources and Financial Information to Assist You,” include:

• Cancer treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy)
 • Managing employment, insurance and financial worries
 • Communication with the medical team, family and children
 • Managing side effects
 • Nutrition issues
 • Coping and psychosocial matters
 • Handling daily living concerns.

The class is free and is open to all cancer patients and their families. Patients can have any cancer diagnosis and be from any hospital or physician office. “The class will empower patients with information and resources they need to assist them on their cancer journey and help them navigate the health care system,” Buffington said. The class runs for two hours. To register or receive more information, call (813) 443-3078 or go to

About St. Joseph’s Hospital
Founded as a mission by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, St. Joseph’s Hospital has served the health care needs of Tampa since 1934 and today is the largest not-for-profit health care provider in Hillsborough County. St. Joseph’s Hospital is known for advanced medical technology and surgery, including laparoscopic and robotic-assisted procedures. The hospital includes a Level 2 Trauma Center, Cancer Institute, Heart Institute, and Stroke and Neuroscience Program, with sister hospitals including St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Part of BayCare Health System, St. Joseph’s Hospital is located at 3001 West Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Tampa. For more information, go to
About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 11 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient’s lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at

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