by Gail Hamm, program director
Dianne and I just returned from a CANSA conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. CANSA is a loosely knit organization of local, not-for-profit cancer service agencies from across the country. Some were formed in the 1940’s, as was Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana (1944), and others are relatively young (5 years or less). Some of these are 1-person volunteer agencies and others are larger with paid staff.
This group tries to gather yearly to share ideas and provide encouragement for each other. Much mentoring occurs at these gatherings, as does idea gathering for programs, and of course, a bit of fun. The ideas shared by sister agencies often show up as new programs or new ways to evaluate programs. Many cancer clients and their families across the country are benefitting from our meetings, phone calls and emails between conferences.
You can find a local cancer service agency by checking with your county United Way, a hospital or hospice social worker, or by calling me at Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana. We have a list of many agencies like ours across the country, but are constantly looking for more of them.
No matter what community you live in, be sure to share your time, talents and financial resources with your local cancer service organization. What a difference we all make!