|CANCER & TREATMENTS FOR CANCER CENTER PATIENTS PREVENTION & RISK ASSESSMENT CLINICAL TRIALS & RESEARCH LIVING WITH CANCER|
News Archive - Progress Newsletter Summer 2000 Online
Care Ambassadors Serve Up Helpful Information
It's important for cancer patients and families to be aware of all care options at the Cancer Center. Now, in addition to doctors, nurses and staff who tell patients about clinical services, Care Ambassadors have joined our community. These highly trained, special volunteers circulate among waiting areas with refreshments on a cart that also contains information about a wide array of patient services. The Care Ambassador provides educational materials and personally updates patients about available resources such as Care Coaches (also known as Peer Counselors), financial and health insurance experts, social workers, nutritionists and healing arts practitioners. The Care Ambassador's job is to help each patient navigate their cancer experience at the University of Michigan and match the appropriate services with the patient's needs.
Pat Buhrer, a Care Ambassador, is a retired registered nurse who also volunteers at hospice care and has established bereavement programs. She volunteers four hours of her day, once a week, and talks to patients on all three patient floors of the Center. One patient, waiting for his appointment in the Urology Clinic, enjoyed a cup of coffee and a cookie. "Somebody probably told me about the Care Coaches, but just today I was thinking that I'd like to call and talk to somebody who's gone through this experience. Pat reminded me that there is someone out there who I can get some pointers from. It makes me feel better!"
Another patient commented that Care Ambassadors are on a goodwill mission. In addition to dispensing a refreshing beverage and a snack, they also serve up a lot of helpful information.