Cancer support agencies to merge

Stillwaters Cancer Support Services and Cancer Support Community Greater Milwaukee, the area’s two leading providers of support services for people living with cancer, announced today that they plan to merge their efforts.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, Stillwaters will expand its services to cancer patients and their families by assuming responsibility for key programs now offered by Cancer Support Community Greater Milwaukee.
“The missions of our two organizations are similar, both of us focusing on providing free psychosocial and emotional support to those effected by any type of cancer,” said Theresa Reagan, executive director of Stillwaters. “After thoughtful discussions, we decided that the community would be best served through a single organization.”
Cancer Support Community Greater Milwaukee, formerly Gilda’s Club Southeastern Wisconsin, has undergone significant changes in recent years. Originally established in Shorewood, the organization more recently has offered its programs at area health care organizations and the Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay. Its most popular programs are The Wellness Group, a professionally facilitated support group for those who are recently diagnosed or are in treatment for cancer, and Cancer Transitions, an evidence-based six-week program for cancer survivors that is held in conjunction with area health care systems. Created in partnership with the LiveStrong organization, the program provides information, skills and tools that are useful to cancer survivors in the transitional period after treatment ends.
Stillwaters will take over the two programs. Stillwaters also will offer its professional counseling services to individuals and families formerly served by the Cancer Support Community. Other programs offered by the Cancer Support Community will be discontinued.
“By offering services through a single organization, we will reduce redundancies and make optimal use of the funds we receive from individuals, foundations and corporations,” Reagan said. “We plan to send a very clear message to the stakeholders of both organizations – that no one who is struggling with a cancer diagnosis needs to do so alone.”
Ann Homstad, board president of Cancer Support Community Greater Milwaukee, said “This is a natural transition for these programs. As an organization, we have worked alongside Stillwaters to bring psychosocial and emotional support to the cancer forefront. I am so pleased that this work will continue under one roof.”
Stillwaters Cancer Support Services provides free professional psychosocial counseling, support groups and workshops for cancer patients, families and caregivers. Since 1994, Stillwaters has helped thousands of individuals and families in southeastern Wisconsin cope with the emotional turmoil that comes with a cancer diagnosis.

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