LivingWell Cancer Resource Center holds ribbon-cutting ceremony as in-person services resume after pandemic

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at LivingWell Cancer Center, part of Northwestern Medicine, on April 28, as the center re-opened for in-person services. 
Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and Batavia Mayor Jeffery Schielke were in attendance, along with members of the Geneva and Batavia city councils and chambers of commerce.

LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, part of Northwestern Medicine, has resumed most in-person services.

Since March 2020, all in-person classes and services were only offered virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from Northwestern Medicine.

Northwestern Medicine held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the return of the in-person services on Friday, April 29.

Located at 442 Williamsburg Ave. in Geneva, the center provides counseling and social work services, support groups, fitness, yoga, art, nutrition classes, wig boutique and more to patients with cancer, their caregivers and family, the release stated.

The four founders of LivingWell Cancer Center, part of Northwestern Medicine are  Terry Murphy, Joanne Hansen, Susan Lyons and Fred Dornback.

LivingWell founder Joanne Hansen said it was “an awful thing” that the center had to pause its services when the pandemic began.

“We were all kind of stunned by COVID. It was so sad that people who needed support couldn’t come in person to get it, but the fact that we could do it virtually was phenomenal,” she said in an email. “Although the pandemic was a problem, it also created another avenue for us to be able to deliver services in an online format. Now we can do it in a hybrid fashion and continue to reach people who aren’t in the immediate area.”

Another founder, Fred Dornback, said that LivingWell didn’t offer teleservices prior to the pandemic, but now it has opened new doors for patients and providers.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic how it has emerged as a critical tool to serve people who may not be healthy enough to come in here physically. It’s an area we would not have been able to touch before. What started as a problem became an asset for us,” he said in an email.

Programs and services are now available in the following formats:

· Individual and family counseling: in-person and virtual

· Support groups: in-person and virtual

· Touch therapies (massage, reflexology, reiki and facials): in-person

· Art classes: in-person and virtual

· Fitness and yoga classes: in-person and virtual

· Nutrition classes: virtual

· Medical and educational presentations: virtual

· Wig boutique: virtual

“We are excited to bring back the in-person aspect of our services while continuing to offer virtual and hybrid formats,” stated Angela McCrum, director of the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center. “Providing virtual and hybrid formats extends the geographical reach LivingWell experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and allows individuals with transportation barriers or health concerns the ability to still participate.”

When LivingWell is fully staffed with volunteers and social distancing is no longer a concern, nutrition classes, the wig boutique and medical/educational presentations will be available as hybrid (in-person and virtual) offerings, the release stated.

All programs and services are provided free of charge.

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