Support Services

Support Services
Support Services
Support Services
Support Services
Support Services
Support Services

Living with cancer and cancer treatments can bring major changes to your life. As you proceed through cancer treatment, you will likely need care beyond medical treatment. We're here to help with your healing… body, mind and spirit. Use these unique Great Lakes Cancer Management Specialists support resources to help you through it all.

Pharmacy Services

Our pharmacy department is staffed by certified pharmacy technicians and Oncology clinical pharmacy specialists. Daily services include drug preparation and distribution of chemotherapy and ancillary medications for patients receiving treatment. The pharmacy coordinates the inventory and distribution of all oncology research.

Registered Dietitian Services

The role of the Registered Dietitian at the Van Elslander Cancer Center is to:

  • Assess nutritional status of patients – often prior to beginning treatment. This allows the dietitian to prepare the patient for a better recover from surgery or better allow the patient to tolerate chemotherapy/radiation.
  • Decrease the severity of nutrition related side effects of various therapies (altered taste, loss of appetite/weight loss, sore mouth/throat, diarrhea/constipation, dry mouth) and manages side effects through nutrition.
  • Discuss different meal/food options based upon the patient's usual food intake and food preferences.
  • Suggest dietary supplements where appropriate.
  • Act as a part of a multi-disciplinary team in conjunction with all health care providers involved in a patient's care.
  • Conducts community education.
  • Manage nutrient intake of patients who are in need of tube feedings.
  • Provide support and encouragement to patients as they undergo treatment.

The Registered Dietitian at the Van Elslander Cancer Center will be one of your allies during treatment. Some treatments can alter your food intake. The Registered Dietitian can help you combat these side effects with certain foods, assist you with achieving a healthy weight, and help you make the best food choices during your course of treatment. Additionally, the Dietitian can show you how to optimize your diet after treatment ends in order to speed recovery and best preserve your health. If you feel that you would benefit from an appointment with the Registered Dietitian, please ask your Doctor or Nurse for a referral.

Body Healing Services

We have a variety of services designed to help heal your body.

  • Massage sessions — Swedish, Therapeutic, and River Rock
  • Reflexology Sessions — these sessions stimulate the flow of energy by massaging reflex points on hands or feet.
  • Reiki — uses touch to influence your energy systems toward healing. Promotes relaxation and relief from pain and anxiety
  • Cranio Sacral Therapy — non-invasive, hands-on technique to provide stress relief
  • Smoking Cessation — combines the power of hypnotic conditioning with behavior modification techniques

Mind Healing Services

Hypnosis and guided imagery — recognized by the AMA. These techniques are used for smoking cessation, stress reduction, pain management and alleviation of fears and personal growth.

Spirit Healing Services

  • Aromatherapy — essential oils and their applications
  • Labyrinth Walk — a prayer tool to discover the deep relaxation found in our healing garden and labyrinth walk

Social Worker

The role of our social worker is to address your psychosocial needs through all phases of your cancer treatment.

  • Counseling – Individual and Family Counseling support
  • Support Groups
  • Educational programs and workshops
  • Referrals and community resources
    • Oncology Rehabilitation
    • Psychiatric Outpatient Services
    • Community Resources
    • Transportation
    • Hospice/Palliative Care
    • Home Care & Private Duty
    • Medical Equipment
    • Legal Resources
    • Physical Rehabilitation
    • Community Support Groups
    • Cancer Organizations
    • Advanced Directives
    • Disease Management

 For patients needing assistance in this area, please ask your doctor for a referral.

Financial Counselor

The role of our financial counselor is to assist patients with the following:

  • Insurance Benefits
  • Medicaid Issues
  • Charity Applications
  • Cobra Payment Assistance
  • Foundation Assistance Applications
  • Prescription Assistance

For patients needing assistance in this area, please ask your doctor for a referral.

Palliative Care and Hospice Care

Although many cancers are treatable and/or curable, there may be a time when treatment options are no longer available. If this occurs, your health care team may make a palliative care or hospice referral in your behalf. Palliative care and hospice focus on helping a person be comfortable by addressing issues that may cause physical or emotional pain or suffering.

Appearance Support

We have many resources, classes and programs available to patients who experience hair loss or other appearance related sided effects of treatment. more…

Transportation Assistance

There are a variety of transportation services available in the greater Detroit Area. If you are having difficulties getting to and from appointments, please let your doctor or nurse know. You will then be connected with the Social Worker who can assist you with a list of resources that are available to you.

Support Groups and Services

Patient support groups are free of charge and focus on emotional support and coping strategies.

Additional help and information may be available through the following:
  • American Cancer Society
    • Wayne County: (734) 425-6845
    • Macomb County: 810-263-8000
    • Oakland County: 248-557-5355
  • Local Services/Patient Services : 800-925-2271 –
  • Leukemia Foundation of Michigan : 800-825-2536
  • Leukemia Lymphoma Society : 800-456-5413
  • Leukemia Society of America –
  • National Cancer Institute –

Support Services Available at the VanElslander Cancer Center

Below is a list of Oncology support groups sponsored by St John Hospital. To register for classes, please call 888-440-7325.

  • Breast Cancert Support Group

Meets the first Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. For more information, please call 313-647-3004.

  • Cancer Support Group

Meets every Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. For more information, please call 313-647-3003.

  • Family Support Group

This group is for any family member or friend of a person diagnosed with cancer tha needs a place to vent feelings and concerns. Facilitated by Gilda's Club staff.

  • GYN Support Group

Held every first Tuesday of the month at 12:30 p.m. Call 313- 647-3004 for more information.

  • Head and Neck Support Group

Support for anyone diagnosed with head and neck cancer. Facilitated by Gilda's Club staff. Meetings held on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Call 313-647-3004 for more information and to register.

  • Look Good Feel Better

A free program sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help women who are currently undergoing cancer treatment cope with appearance related side effects including hair loss and changes in complexion and fingernails. it is offered in a group setting, with products generously donated by major cosmetic companies and is essentially a fun "make-over" session lead by a licensed cosmetologist. Call 248-465-5466 or 313-647-3300 for dates/times and to register for the program.

Individual Counseling for Cancer Patients Only

Our patient oncology social workers provide individual and family counseling to those on a cancer journey. If you feel this service would be beneficial to you, please ask your doctor for a referral.