Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care provides the most advanced cancer detection and breast cancer treatment centers for treatment methods available. Highly specialized procedures and treatments are offered in collaboration with Smilow Cancer Hospital Torrington with the goal of allowing the patient to receive their care locally whenever possible. Patients affected by cancer in Northwest Connecticut have a desirable alternative to traveling long distances to large facilities in urban settings to receive their treatment at our hospital in Torrington, CT.
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2018 Community Report on Cancer
Proudly continuing with the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Accreditation
The CHH Cancer Program consists of the services provided by the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (CHH) Radiation Oncology Department and the Smilow Cancer Hospital medical oncologists at 200 Kennedy Drive and the inpatient Oncology Department at 540 Litchfield Street with programs that include the breast health navigation, survivorship, and patient support.
The Program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. In addition, program affiliates include Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, the Yale Smilow Cancer Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and the Cancer Care Fund of the Litchfield Hills, which allows it to strengthen it’s the community’s overall available resources in many diagnostic and treatment areas.
The 2018 was a year of transition as on January 1st, 2018, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital became an affiliated partner to Hartford Healthcare and the Hartford HealthCare’s Cancer Institute, backed by an alliance with the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The administration and staff at CHH has been working towards integrating the hospital’s Cancer Committee into the HHC system Cancer Committee and this work was completed by the end of the year.
2018 Programs & Support
In 2018, CHH and Smilow Cancer Hospital Torrington with the support of the Cancer Care Fund of the Litchfield Hills offered free education and community programs for residents including support groups for patients and their family caregivers facilitated by licensed social workers or nurses. These included smoking cessation classes, general patient support, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and caregiver support groups. Also offered were gentle yoga classes, spiritual care, Reiki nutritional and social work consults, lymphedema services, healthy exercise lifestyle program (HELP), mind-body interventions, massage and reflexology therapy, touch therapy, and hand/foot massages for patients and caregivers. In 2018 we provided 1,475 visits. Special FREE Programs also offered included Annual Cancer Survivors’ Day Celebration, Revive! Your Life After Cancer – Survivorship program, and a Lung Cancer educational and dinner program for area health professionals.
Screening & Navigation
Breast Cancer – CHH is leading the way to quality breast cancer early detection and treatment with its participation in the Connecticut Early Detection and Prevention Program, a State and federally funded program for underserved, uninsured and underinsured women. In 2018, 133 women were screened through the program that provides medical office visits, Pap tests, mammograms, breast ultrasounds and biopsies to qualified participants. Three participants were diagnosed with breast cancer and navigated to treatment. An additional 68 women received free breast screenings through the Charlotte Hungerford Pink Rose program. This program is funded by community donations and private fundraising efforts. Two breast cancers were detected and treated through program efforts.
Community education is a vital element of the CHH Early Detection Program. The award winning team includes Program Coordinator, Damaris Sierra, a certified medical interpreter (Spanish) and Community Health Worker, Rosa Hilario, who is bilingual (Spanish). In 2018, the outreach team collaborated with community service agencies and organizations, distributed program flyers & brochures to dozens of small businesses and churches, and attended 25 outreach activities at events and health fairs.
CHH is pleased to offer all women diagnosed with breast cancer through the CHH Healthcare system breast navigation services. Certified Breast Cancer Nurse Navigators, Leslie Handelman, R.N.,CN-BN and Tammy Rouleau, R.N., CN-BN provide one on one education and support from the time of diagnosis through surgical treatment. As members of the bi-weekly interdisciplinary breast conference, the navigators evaluate patients using the NCCN Distress Thermometer at time of diagnosis and present the patients psycho-social history as part of a multidisciplinary team approach to treatment. Thirty nine women received full breast cancer navigation services in 2018.
Lung Cancer – The CHH Lung Cancer Screening Program provided low dose CT scans to 102 patients in 2018. Two highly suspicious findings were detected and patients were navigated to their referring primary care physician for follow up.
The Freedom From Smoking Program designed by the American Lung Association is offered by Charlotte Hungerford Hospital approximately four times per year. The program is designed to help smokers gain control over their behavior using a variety of evidence-based cessation techniques. The course is led by a trained Freedom From Smoking Facilitator. The program offers a structured, systematic approach to quitting and its positive messaging emphasizes the benefits of better health. Each course has eight scheduled sessions. The program is offered at no cost to interested participants. In 2018, 34 smokers enrolled in the program and 24 participants quit. This equals 71% success rate.
Skin Cancer – Charlotte Hungerford Hospital offered a Skin Cancer Screening Event in June 2018. Three area providers conducted screenings following guidelines by the American Academy of Dermatology. Forty one participants attended the event where they received a full body screening, were given a written copy of their findings and recommendations, and were given written information about skin cancer prevention and detection. A list of local dermatologists was made available, as well as a link to a website with additional provider information. The event was well received by the community and exit surveys reflected the need for additional screening dates. The committee has plans to offer the screening again in 2019.
Comprehensive Cancer Care for Northwest Connecticut
CHH hospital’s Radiology Services partners with the oncologists from the Smilow Cancer Hospital Torrington. Together they offer comprehensive and patient-centered care at the center to those seeking treatment utilizing the resources and have the capability to effectively diagnose and treat all forms of cancer. The center’s powerful technology enables it to provide the most advanced and effective form of radiation therapy, Image-Guided Radiation Therapy. With this technology, cancer care center patients have local access to the best and most comprehensive cancer care available.
A Full Range of Diagnostic, Treatment and Support Services
Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care hospital in Torrington, CT offers its patients virtually everything they need to fight cancer as well as to cope and live with the diagnosis.
- State-of-the-art oncology, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy
- Expert, board-certified physicians from the country’s top medical schools
- Most advanced screening technology and detection services
- Patient participation and access to clinical trials and research protocols
- Comprehensive, holistic patient support programs
- Highly trained oncology nurses and therapists
- Patient-centered educational programs
- Financial support services
A Team of Oncologists and Therapists Working Closely Together at One Site
Since most cancers require multiple doctors and services, coordination of care is critical to successful treatment. The CHH Center for Cancer Care staff and leading physicians from the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center at Torrington, CT provide patients with the most innovative and exceptional care possible. Having all cancer care treatment services located in one facility enables the oncologists and other providers to work as a team, communicating often and sharing insights on individual cases. This collaboration is most important when it involves the phasing and scheduling of necessary services for patients, typically a difficult task to achieve. By bringing all of the cancer services together efficiently and effectively at one cancer care center, the Center ensures that its patients will get the most appropriate treatment option, at the time when they need it the most.
Specialized Nurses and Therapists Who have Worked Together for Many Years
The Center for Cancer Care is staffed by certified oncology nurses and radiation therapists who have specialized in working with cancer patients. Several nurses have advanced degrees in oncology. Most of the staff has worked together at the Center for many years forming a well-functioning team. The expe-rience and cohesiveness of the Center’s support staff ensures that patients will have the best cancer care possible at all levels.
Complementary Therapies – A Whole-body Approach to Cancer Treatment and Patient Support
At CHH’s Center for Cancer Care, one of the best cancer treatment centers, complementary therapies work hand-in-hand with conventional medical treatments to provide the healing interventions that focus on the mind and spirit as well as the body. They have all been designed to improve the quality of life for the cancer treatment Center’s patients and provide them with different ways to cope with their illness. Complementary therapies have been successfully used with the Center’s patients to reduce their stress and anxiety, manage their symptoms and pain, boost their immunity and calm their mind.
A Compassionate, Caring Staff – A Peaceful Setting
Within the Cancer care Center’s comforting environment, patients and their families will be served by a caring team that proves cancer care is more than just the best technology. Every patient at our hospital in Torrington, CT is offered the strength, hope and companionship they need to deal with this difficult time and to achieve the best possible outcome.
CHH’s Center for Cancer Care is located in a serene, wooded setting that enables each patient to receive their treatment in a quiet, peaceful environment. The cancer care Center also has a meditation garden and a forest walking trail to allow patients and family members to have private moments of reflection.