"There's nothing greater and more comforting than a nice, warm blanket," said Melinda Showalter, Community Oncology Center nurse manager.
Thanks to the Foundation, patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation have warm blankets.
"One of our patients not long ago was undergoing radiation," Showalter said. "He said, 'It's cold in here. Why don't you purchase a blanket-warmer?' I thought, 'That's a good idea!' "
The Foundation agreed and purchased one.
That's not the only help the Community Oncology Center patients have received, thanks to the Foundation.
Of the 14 nurses, 11 are OCN-certified, Showalter said. The certification comes from Oncology Nursing Certification Corp. Recently Howard Regional received recognition for having more than 50 percent of its nurses certified. That wouldn't be possible without the Foundation.
"They have to receive continuing education to keep the certification," she said of the nurses, noting that the Foundation makes continuing education possible by providing funding. The more the nurses stay abreast of new ways to improve patient care, the better care they can provide.
"And it really adds creditability to your clinic," Showalter said.
The Foundation also helps cancer patients financially.
"We've had some patients who were practically homeless to start with and then develop cancer. What are they going to do?" she said. "The Foundation's helped them by paying for medicine. The Foundation's helped them by paying medical bills. We purchase gas cards and keep them on hand in case someone needs gas for their car to get to their appointments. Sometimes we turn to the Foundation to pay for something that's vital for treatment but insurance won't pay for it. For example, if there's a young woman with breast or ovarian cancer and the doctor thinks she really needs genetic testing but insurance won't pay for it, the Foundation helps with that. We've helped a lot of people. People really do appreciate what you do for them. That's one thing about oncology patients; they are just so appreciative of every little thing."