MedStar Montgomery Medical Center has joined forces with a Bethesda nonprofit to offer cancer support groups and yoga onsite, part of an effort to meet new accreditation standards for hospitals offering cancer treatments.
The new standards from the American College of Surgeons will require hospitals to provide holistic services for cancer patients in 2015, and MedStar’s agreement with the Hope Connections for Cancer Support nonprofit will help the hospital demonstrate that commitment. The services sat MedStar Montgomery start this week.
The nonprofit, which specializes in supporting cancer patients and their caregivers, began offering classes at Shady Grove Adventist Aquilino Cancer Center in October.
Hope Connections, based in an old mansion off Rockville Pike, offers multiple support groups, yoga, meditation and qigong, a Chinese practice of aligning the body and meditating using different postures, said Paula Rothenberg, president and CEO of the nonprofit. She teamed up in 2005 with The Michele Susan Kogod Memorial Fund, which provided a $50,000 seed grant, to create the cancer support center.
MedStar and Shady Grove already offered some support groups and educational classes. But they needed more to meet to new accreditation minimums.
“The college is wanting centers to focus on the holistic approaches to healing cancer, not just the clinical approaches,” said Jane Peck, executive director of cancer services at Adventist HealthCare. “That’s where groups like Hope Connections really help because they really have the expertise already here in the community.”