Cancer related services now available through Rural Health
Ryan Summerlin December 14, 2012
Team Grand Lake has been raising money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for the past eight years. Last May, after several Grand County cancer patients were denied Komen’s assistance, Team Grand Lake decided to find a way to keep the monies raised in Grand County for Grand County residents.As a result of our search, a partnership was formed between Team Grand Lake and GCRHN. Today, a new cancer fund has been established to assist Grand County residents with cancer related services. Gladys Howard, coordinator for Team Grand Lake stated recently that “since September, over $23,500 has been raised, but only because of the generosity of our Grand County residents, merchants and vendors. Without their support, this vision would not have come to pass”.Team Grand Lake’s fundraising events included a golf tournament, cookbook sales, silent/live auctions and more. Grants are also being submitted to appropriate foundations to augment these funds. Then in late November, Jen Fanning, Director of GCRHN, announced that “the Denver Metropolitan Affiliate of the Komen Foundation has approved a grant submitted by GCRHN for an additional $9,500. This money has been added to the fund to specifically assist women dealing with breast cancer.”For those who are unfamiliar GCRHN, they are a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and uniting healthcare in Grand County through collaboration with health care providers and other nonprofits and communities. They offer programs to assure access to health care for the uninsured and under-insured. Their Patient Navigator program guides and coordinates patients through the healthcare system, ensuring that a patient receives the health care they need, when they need it. According to Fanning, “the Cancer Fund will be distributed through GCRHN’s ACHES & PAINS, and Patient Navigator programs, and it’s for all Grand County residents dealing with ANY kind of cancer, not just breast cancer.”If you or a family member is dealing with devastation of a cancer diagnosis, please contact GCRHN at 970-725-3477 to speak with a Patient Navigator. They can help by covering the cost of gas, lodging and food for patients needing to get to treatments out-of-county, and possibly prescription vouchers for prescriptions associated with side-effects of treatment.Fanning also noted that “GCRHN will work in concert with all available resources in our county to ensure that these dollars are leveraged.” Other resources include partnering with Planned Parenthood, Women’s Wellness Connection, CICP and Medicaid. Gladys Howard acknowledged that “the long range goal is to eventually have chemotherapy and oncology here in Grand County, but that will take many more fundraising efforts and approved grants. But together, we can provide services to our neighbors in need.”In closing, we would like to take this opportunity to thank every volunteer, resident and business who contributed their time, talents, commitment and support to making this Cancer Care fund available to Grand County Residents. Thank You from the bottom of our hearts.