Patient Support Services
A cancer diagnosis is an unexpected and frightening thing, and having cancer isn’t easy. Here are some of the ways Cancer Services helps cancer patients:
- Counseling individual and family sessions are available by appointment with one of our counselors. Referrals to other agencies are also available.
- Home or office visits are available with one of our licensed social workers. They can explain your options.
- Limited financial aid for urgent, non-medical needs (with approval)
- Patient Support Volunteers
- Provide transportation to medical appointments and occasional chore service
- PALS Offers emotional support from trained cancer survivors with a similar cancer
- Wigs, turbans, nutritional supplements, and other supplies
Caring for a loved one with cancer presents unique challenges whether your loved one is in the hospital or at home. You don’t have to navigate the cancer experience alone.
The Maria Mencia Cancer Caregiver Support Network is a nonprofit organization. We are dedicated to providing information, services, and support to caregivers of persons living with cancer in the mid-Michigan region. We are a division of Cancer Services, a local United Way agency, and are located on the campus of MidMichigan Health.
Our services are coordinated by a full-time, licensed professional social worker, Holly Snellenberger, LLMSW, and incorporate trained, volunteer coaches. We specialize in helping caregivers navigate the cancer experience whether loved ones are at home or in the hospital. We are experienced with the unique needs of caregivers of patients with cancer. Our facility includes a quiet room for consultation and meeting, resource materials, and Internet access.
For more information about our services or volunteer opportunities, please call Holly Snellenberger, LLMSW, at (989) 835-4841. For more information, patients, families and caregivers should call Cancer Services at (989) 835-4841 or visit our Caregiver Support page here.
The stress of living with cancer and physical de-conditioning caused by cancer treatments take their toll. Wellness activities help you relieve stress, rebuild your strength and flexibility, and can reduce your chance of recurrence. Wellness activities are free of charge and are offered to patients and caregivers. Visit our Wellness Activities page for more information.
Cancer Services Staff and Board Members
Cancer Services Staff
Board of Directors
Wendy Traschen – President
Shea Hollenbeck – Treasurer
Sam Green – Secretary
Duncan Stuart – Executive Committee
Gregg Clark, Jim Gall, Cathy Mapes, Kim McLean, Lou Mencia, Fareed Mohammed, Mark O’Brien, William O’Connor, Nicole Potter, Sandy Reed
History of Cancer Services Midland
The origin of the current Cancer Services dates back to the middle 1940’s when a few concerned citizens began collecting funds to fight cancer. In March 1948, the group was incorporated as Midland County Cancer Society. Approximately 30 community representatives were elected to the board. Their mission was to control the disease of cancer through early detection, education, and service to patients. This included maintaining the radium supply for Midland Hospital, distributing educational leaflets, offering films for loan, and providing medical equipment for use in home care. Volunteers helped in a variety of ways, such as making bandages and other patient supplies. The group worked closely with the Midland County Health Department to improve the health of the community.
In 1956, the Midland County Cancer Society withdrew from the American Cancer Society due to a funding conflict with the United Fund–a common problem around the country at that time. The Midland organization did not want to conduct a separate drive (which ACS required), so it disaffiliated with the organization. Along with 50 other groups leaving ACS, an effort was made to form a new association. As a charter member in the early 1960’s, Cancer Services is still an active member of the Cancer Agencies National Staff Association (CANSA). For many years Cancer Services was a visible health promoter through community parades, and displays at the Midland County Fair. The Breast Cancer Visitor Program, was begun in 1977 to train volunteers to visit clients with breast cancer. The Cancer Volunteers Program, initiated in the early 1980’s, provided trained volunteers to help families with rides to medical appointments, errand service and other occasional needs.
A feasibility study was conducted in 1977 to determine the need for more services. The generous donation of office space by a local businessman, and increased United Way funding allowed Cancer Services to hire an Executive director and significantly increase community services: more client services and a larger educational program focused on anti-smoking student presentations. A part-time health educator was hired in 1984. In 1985, a part-time volunteer coordinator joined the staff, and a special Board of Directors committee decided a name change would help eliminate some of the cancer agency’s “identity confusion;” In 2008, we expanded to Clare and Gladwin counties which required us to change our name to Cancer Services.
Midland Tobacco Reduction Coalition
In 1993 the Midland County Tobacco Reduction Coalition was formed to coordinate activities that reduce the initiation of smoking by youth, and to promote clean indoor air. More recently, in April 1994, the Partners As Life Survivors (PALS) Program was developed to support persons coping with all kinds of cancer. While programs have evolved over the years, the overall mission remains the same: With an emphasis on education and volunteer services, Cancer Services responds to the needs of today and encourages hope for tomorrow.
Cancer Caregiver Support
In 2009, the Maria Mencia Cancer Caregiver Support Network program began as a new and complementary service for families touched by cancer. It was founded by Luis Mencia of Midland, Michigan in memory of his late wife, Maria, to support caregivers of cancer patients. The Network is operated in partnership with Cancer Services and MidMichigan Medical Center’s Oncology Center. Currently, a licensed MSW professional medical social worker assesses each caregiver’s situation and needs and then screens, trains and coordinates a team of eighteen volunteer caregiver coaches who give personalized assistance to caregivers free of charge. The team helps caregivers cope with, and balance, the demands of cancer treatment as well as the personal tolls of being a caregiver. The desired outcomes of the program include:
- Caregivers maintain their own health.
- Caregivers are able to obtain, maintain or retain stable housing.
- Caregivers receive assistance from others in caregiving tasks.
- Caregivers utilize resources provided to address financial concerns.
For more information about this program, see our Caregiver Support page.