For Hearst Can Resource Center director Beverly Kirkhart, helping patients and their families cope with a cancer diagnosis is more than just a job.
"I was diagnosed 25 years ago," says Kirkhart, who has run the center since it opened its doors in 2008. "There was nothing like this back then. The community is very lucky to have this center, as very few exist across the country.
The resource center at French Hospital Medical Center just remodeled and expanded its facility. It's there for patients and their families to answer questions, receive emotional support, and ease the worry that accompanies every cancer diagnosis.
"To have something, a place where they can go to be taken care of, is just a wonderful gift," says Kirkhart.
The center has computer stations to check out cancer related topics, nurses on hand to answer questions, and even a wig room for those battling hair loss due to treatment. Several walls are lined with bookcases full of material on different cancers and treatments, so patients and their families can better understand what they are up against.
"We've taken care of over 61,000 patients and their families so listening to the stories on a day in day out basis is so gratifying," says French Hospital CEO Alan Iftiniuk. He expects this number to grow following the expansion. "This is a place where you can come for hope, help, and assistance."
The best part? It is all free.
For more information, visit the French Hospital Medical Center website.