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Summa first in Northeast Ohio to offer national breast cancer recovery program

Date: 08.24.2011
Contact: Jennifer Farquhar Phone: (330) 375-4930

Contact: Jennifer Farquhar, Phone: (330) 375-4930, Email:  farquharj@summahealth.org

AKRON, Ohio, August 24, 2011 – Like those who undergo cardiac rehab after a heart attack, researchers are beginning to believe that female breast cancer survivors can also do very well by participating in a recovery program after the chemo, surgery or radiation ends. This fall, female breast cancer survivors at the Jean and Milton Cooper Cancer Center at Summa Akron City Hospital will have access to a renowned national program called “A Time to Heal,” to test that theory and pick up their lives again.

“Breast cancer is transformational for the woman, not only physically, but emotionally,” said Alida J. Moonen, Ph.D., CWP, a co-leader of the program at Summa. “The side effects of treatment affect her health, her relationships and her self-image. And when it ends, the return to normal work and family life can seem abrupt and difficult.”

Summa will be the first healthcare provider in Northeast Ohio to offer the 12-week program beginning on Sept. 12, and coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. “A Time to Heal” involves light exercise, journaling, discussion and mental exercises that seek to help survivors regain their physical, emotional and spiritual health after treatment. The benefits to participants are also being studied by the founders of the program, Drs. Stephanie Koraleski and Kay Ryan of Omaha, Neb.

Breast cancer survivor, Jone’ Carpenter, 49 of Cuyahoga Falls, is taking the class because she considers it perfect timing after her treatment.

“You’re so used to being surrounded by your doctors and your chemo nurses and these professionals that really support you and get you through,” she said. “And now, all of a sudden, you’re on your own. So this is perfect timing to deal with what’s next for me and how to recover and go on.”

Carpenter ran the Akron Half Marathon last year, just 33 days after a bilateral mastectomy. In the middle of her chemotherapy that fall, she completed another half marathon in Hartville, Ohio. She finished radiation treatment in March and will be walking in the Akron Half Marathon next month, on Sept. 24. All of her treatment was through Summa’s Cooper Cancer Center.

For more information or to enroll in “A Time to Heal,” call (800) 237-8662. Classes are held for three hours in the evening and facilitated by a psychologist, a breast cancer nurse and other guest speakers. A healthy, light supper is provided at each session.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.