PITTSBURGH, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has joined the Journey Forward collaborative to promote cancer survivorship through the use of Survivorship Care Plans.
Journey Forward, a collaboration consisting of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center, WellPoint, and Genentech, welcomes the support and participation of ONS in this initiative. "Nurses are key providers of education for patients through their diagnosis and treatment, so this partnership is a natural fit as we work together to communicate about the importance of survivorship care plans," said ONS Director of Education Michele Galioto, RN, MSN. She added that incorporating ONS's evidence-based guidelines, symptom management resources, and the growing collection of quality indicators into survivorship plans will ultimately lead to improved patient outcomes. "This partnership allows us to bring valuable tools to nurses and to reach beyond our membership as we work to improve care for all patients."
"ONS is a welcome addition to the team," said Patricia Ganz, MD, Director of the Survivorship Center at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Oncology nurses are at the forefront of preparation of Survivorship Care Plans."
Journey Forward provides a free, award-winning software tool designed to help survivors and their cancer team develop a customized Survivorship Care Plan based on ASCO's treatment summary templates and surveillance guidelines. These plans improve coordination of care for cancer survivors throughout their lives, and they help survivors and their loved ones understand their cancer treatment and follow-up needs. Survivorship Care Plans also put survivors in a better position to advocate for themselves, monitor their health, and participate in decisions about their future care.
"The ONS team brings a membership of more than 35,000 oncology nurses in 61 countries with 230 chapters in the United States. We expect that the membership of ONS will help disseminate Journey Forward in their oncology settings," said Thomas Sellers, MPA, Chief Executive Officer (and 12-year cancer survivor) of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.
There is evidence that oncology nurses are key to adoption of survivorship care planning at the clinical level, since they are the ones administering care to the patients. "Nurses play a vital role in our health care system, whether in an office setting, hospital, health plan or in the classroom. The addition of ONS and its dedicated oncology nurses further strengthens the Journey Forward collaboration of organizations and supports health care professionals throughout the industry – all who are so vital to the care of patients, especially to those who are undergoing treatment for cancer," said Dr. Lisa Latts, WellPoint's vice president of Public Health Policy. Added Kent E. Lieginger, PharmD, Senior Vice President, Managed Care and Customer Operations at Genentech, "We know that oncology nurses are interested in resources that can help impact outcomes for their patients. We anticipate that Journey Forward will have an accelerated adoption due to their involvement."
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) advocates for quality cancer care for everyone touched by cancer and provides tools that empower people affected by cancer to advocate for themselves. Founded by and for cancer survivors in 1986, NCCS created the widely-accepted definition of survivorship and considers someone a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis through the balance of life. Its free publications and resources include the award-winning Cancer Survival Toolbox®, a self-learning audio program created by leading cancer organizations to help people develop essential skills to meet the challenges of their illness. More information is available at www.canceradvocacy.org or 1-888-650-9127.
UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center
The UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center's mission is to provide high quality clinical care for post-treatment cancer patients, provide information on improving survivorship quality-of-life, pursue cutting-edge survivorship research and educate the community on survivorship care and concerns. The center has become the focal point of survivorship activities at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and UCLA Healthcare. The center is developing models of health care delivery to meet the physical and psychosocial needs of cancer survivors.
Oncology Nursing Society
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) is a professional organization of more than 35,000 registered nurses and other healthcare professionals committed to excellence in oncology nursing and to leading the transformation of cancer care by initiating and actively supporting educational, legislative, and public awareness efforts to improve the care of people with cancer. ONS provides nurses and healthcare professionals with access to the highest quality educational programs, cancer care resources, research opportunities, and networks for peer support. Learn more at www.ons.org.
WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value. We help to improve the health of our communities, deliver better care to members, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is the nation's largest health benefits company in terms of medical enrollment, with 34 million members in its affiliated health plans, and a total of more than 70 million individuals served through all subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint does business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a wholly-owned member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.
SOURCE Oncology Nursing Society