Texas Health Plano Receives Certification for First Cancer Survivorship Rehabilitation Program in North Texas
10/23/2013

PLANO, Texas — For patients like Meredith Henderson, beating cancer was the first battle. The second one was overcoming the effects of the cancer treatments used to save her life.

Cancer survivor Meredith Henderson works with Lisa Darnell, one of her physical therapists, to put on her shoe.
Cancer survivor Meredith Henderson works with Lisa Darnell, one of her physical therapists, to put on her shoe.

“I’ve never seen a hospital with so many positive people,” said Henderson, a 69-year-old mother of one grown daughter, who lives in far north Dallas with husband, Bill. “I wish I could scream from the mountain top to cancer survivors how much the physical and occupational therapy helps. I doubted it at first, but then, after they taught me simple things like breathing properly, I was able to go from the bottom to the top of the stairs without gasping for air.”

A new program at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano now integrates best practices for survivorship rehabilitation, focusing on managing treatment-related conditions for survivors with the goal of improving quality of life and the ability to function. The hospital has received STAR Program® Certification, the flagship certification from Oncology Rehab Partners, through implementation of an evidence-based education and training program for administrative and clinical staff to develop and support oncology rehabilitation services.

“Cancer rehabilitation is similar to other forms of rehab after a serious illness or injury,” Ashley Jones, director of rehabilitation services and co-coordinator of the Survivorship Training and Rehab (STAR) Program at Texas Health Plano, said. “Bringing together specialized clinicians from physical, occupational and speech therapists, dietitians, oncology nurses and other specialties to focus on unique needs of cancer survivors is important to helping these patients achieve the highest quality of life possible.”

The Texas Health Plano Cancer Rehabilitation Program offers patients compassionate and customized programs that can help minimize or eliminate symptoms such as pain, fatigue, loss of strength, cognitive impairment, sleep difficulties, nutrition problems, depression and anxiety which may be associated with cancer and its treatment.

“Getting through cancer can be a battle,” Carinsa Gaston, oncology program manager and co-coordinator of the Survivorship Training and Rehab (STAR) Program at Texas Health Plano, explained, “and often, after-effects from treatments can significantly impact the patient’s quality of life they have fought so hard to keep. We want to help them enjoy it to their body’s potential. The evidence-based medicine available and continuous research into survivorship demonstrates that there is hope. We are honored to be the first in North Texas to offer this program to our patients.”

Henderson added, "Everyone on their team acted like I was going to enter the Olympics every day. They would encourage me, and be so excited. I don’t know if having hope and a positive attitude is part of the healing process, but I bet it is, and if it helps one person, then my reason for living is fulfilled.”

For more information on the STAR Program at Texas Health Plano, visit TexasHealth.org/Plano-Rehabilitation, or call 972-981-8185.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is a 366-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to Plano and surrounding areas since 1991. The hospital’s services include orthopedics, cardiovascular services, oncology, pediatrics and women’s services. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Plano has more than 1,600 employees and 1,300 physicians on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Plano.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.