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posted: 9/19/2013 5:26 PM

Vista Offers Certified Cancer Rehab

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Fatigue, loss of appetite, pain or numbness in their hands and feet -- these are some of the challenges that face cancer patients resulting from medical treatment or surgery. Thanks to cancer-specific rehabilitation now available from Vista Health System, cancer patients can get the same type of help from rehab that has been common for cardiac, orthopedic and stroke patients for years.

Vista is offering outpatient cancer rehabilitation at the Vista Ambulatory Care Center, 1050 Red Oak Lane in Lindenhurst, and at the Vista Physical Medicine/Work Power Center at 222 S. Greenleaf in Gurnee. Inpatient cancer rehabilitation is provided at Vista Medical Center West, 2615 Washington, Waukegan.

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Vista recently earned its STAR ProgramŽ Certification from the Massachusetts-based Oncology Rehab Partners, leading experts in the field of survivorship care. STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) Program Certification qualifies Vista to offer oncology rehabilitation services to survivors who suffer from debilitating side effects caused by treatments. Vista is the only healthcare provider in Lake County that is STAR certified.

"We found the STAR program to be one of the best of its kind," says Barbara Martin, President and CEO of Vista. "As we continue to expand our cancer program at Vista, this gives us an opportunity to provide full rehabilitation services in three easily accessible locations. Since one of the biggest hurdles that cancer survivors face is returning to normal activities following surgery or treatment, we chose the STAR program because it's designed to help people maximize their abilities."

To receive its STAR Program Certification, 50 members of Vista's inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation staff completed more than 25 hours of cancer-specific training. Vista utilizes specialty caregivers from several disciplines--including physicians, physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dieticians and mental health professionals. Together, they work with patients on a personalized rehabilitation plan to increase strength and energy, alleviate pain and improve daily function and quality of life.

Dr. Julie Silver, a rehab physician at Harvard Medical School in Boston and co-founder of Oncology Rehab Partners, recently published a study that indicates 65-90 percent of cancer patients could benefit from rehab techniques but that only 30 percent of them receive a rehab referral. Vista's new cancer rehab services are covered by health insurance providers and are offered to patients by a knowledgeable and sensitive medical staff that is specially trained to work with survivors of all forms of cancer.

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Vista Health System is a network that includes: two hospitals in Waukegan -- Vista Medical Center East and Vista Medical Center West; the Vista Lindenhurst campus that includes the Vista Ambulatory Care Center, Vista Cancer Center, Lindenhurst Surgery Center, LLC, the Vista Freestanding Emergency Center, and the new Vista Medical Office Building; and several locations for imaging, patient therapy and physician practices. Vista is a Center of Excellence in a number of key service areas and is accredited in Bariatric Surgery, Cancer, Chest Pain, Congestive Heart Failure, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation and Stroke. To learn more about Vista Health System, please visit VistaHealth.com.

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