Growth of Neurocognitive Service Enhances Brain Cancer Survivorship Program
As the Sheri Sobrato Brisson Brain Cancer Survivorship Program entered its second year, it has expanded its offerings for the growing numbers of brain cancer survivors.
Perhaps the biggest growth came in the program’s neurocognitive consultation service. Led by neuropsychologist Christina Weyer Jamora, RN, PhD, the service provides comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation and treatment for patients whose cognition has been impacted by cancer and its treatment. Patients are referred to the clinic by their oncologist, ideally after completion of treatment. In its first 15 months, the clinic saw 90 patients and had nearly 350 patient visits.
“The evaluation helps to pinpoint areas of cognitive strength as well as areas of challenge, and leans into the strengths to support patients with compensatory strategies during their rehabilitation,” says Program Manager Naomi Hoffer, MA, MCHES.
Weyer Jamora also works with caregivers to help them understand the compensatory strategies, the effects of treatment on their loved ones and how to explain the changes to children. The service is also contributing to advancing the science around neurocognitive strategies, by participating in research funded by the Loglio consortium which concentrates on low-grade glioma research.
“We are on the forefront of providing these types of services to brain tumor patients, and we are seeing improvements,” says Hoffer. Patients have noticed. As one commented, “Dr. Jamora has really been a lifesaver for me in helping me cope with the changes in my thinking.”
In 2019, the program also hired a dedicated nurse practitioner, Alexa Greenstein, RN, FNP-C, who participates in the Cognitive Consultation Clinic but will also play a central role in the launch of a Survivorship Wellness Clinic. A weekly, on-site exercise-counseling program in the radiation oncology department provides a number of preventive benefits for patients.
Other additions include a speaker series for providers, a Living Well webinar series for patients, interviews with survivors to better understand their needs and showcase their stories on our website, a survivorship wellness manual and a series of “Living Well with Brain Cancer” patient education sheets.
Learn more about the Sheri Sobrato Brisson Brain Cancer Survivorship Program.