Take Action at UI Cancer Center
The University of Illinois Cancer Center, along with partners UI Health and Wellness House, is committed to providing excellent cancer care to all patients from diagnosis through treatment. Because each patient is unique, we offer a variety of support services to provide personalized and quality care.
Wellness House at Mile Square
UI Cancer Center has partnered with Wellness House to provide programs and classes to help meet the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of cancer patients and their families.
You do not need to be a UI Cancer Center or UI Health patient to receive programs offered at Wellness House, which include:
- Information & Education: Helpful information while dealing with cancer, from updates on the latest treatments and help with insurance, to learning how to manage side effects
- Exercise & Nutrition: Classes for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise sessions, and activities that help calm the body and mind
- Stress Management: Classes and groups that help to lessen the stress caused by cancer, including meditation and self-expression through art and music
- Child & Family Programs: Family programs help children and families learn about cancer and how to express their feelings in a safe and welcoming place
- Support Groups & Counseling: Weekly and monthly groups that offer a chance to share stories and experiences with others affected by cancer
How to Register for Programs at Wellness House
All Wellness House classes are free for those affected by cancer. For more information or to register, visit wellnesshouse.org/UIHealth.
All classes are taught in English, except the Mat Yoga class on Wednesdays, which is taught in Spanish.
How Patient Navigators and Social Workers Can Help During Your Cancer Care
Support from Patient Navigators
At UI Cancer Center, patient navigators play a crucial role in cancer care. They guide patients as they move through the continuum of care, including cancer screening, diagnostic testing, treatment, and survivorship. Navigators lend their expertise every step of the way, helping improve patient outcomes.
The Role of Patient Navigators at UI Cancer Center
A patient navigator can support you during cancer care by:
- Helping during screening, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care
- Assisting in communication with healthcare providers
- Setting up appointments for medical care or tests
- Helping with financial, legal, and social support
- Working with insurance companies, employers, case managers, lawyers, and others who may impact cancer needs
Expansive patient navigation programs like ours can lead to decreased spending and improved quality of care — especially among minority populations.
Source: National Cancer Institute
Our assistance is needed to guide them and provide that support that they really need to overcome barriers, including language barriers, health literacy, and just overall support that many patients don’t have in our community and catchment area. There is a huge gap between patient and provider, community members and research, and patient navigators help bridge that gap.
Paola Torres, Patient Navigator at UI Cancer Center
You have to treat each patient as a special case because you never know what somebody may be dealing with. We are in the middle — we talk to providers, we talk to the providers’ staff, and we also talk to patients.
Barbara Williams, Patient Navigator at UI Cancer Center
Support from Social Workers
Social workers have an extensive set of responsibilities at UI Cancer Center. They are in charge of ensuring patients can navigate structural barriers to care — such as financial constraints, education, or transportation — that drive cancer inequities.
The Role of Social Workers at UI Cancer Center
A social worker can support you during cancer care by:
- Helping you and your loved ones understand your cancer, treatment options, and possible side effects
- Exploring your emotional and social reactions to cancer and cancer treatment
- Communicating with your healthcare team and interpreting information
- Coordinating discharge from the hospital and follow-up care
- Arranging resources and funds for medication, medical equipment, and other cancer services
Source: National Association of Social Workers
Find your social worker at UI Cancer Center:
|Breast, Gynecologic, Brain Tumor||Jessica Voigts, LCSW, OSWC||312-996-3367|
|Head & Neck, Lung, Gastrointestinal||Elizabeth Raigoza, LCSW||312-996-7714|
|Urological, Bone, Soft Tissue, Renal, Pancreatic, Gastrointestinal||Jason Tuite, LCSW, CADC||312-996-9544|
|Blood and Lymph, Stem Cell Transplant||Ana Gordon, LCSW, OSWC||312-355-0537|
For Medical-Only Expenses
There are many resources that can help offset or completely cover the costs of medical care during cancer treatment, including:
- Leukemia Lymphoma Society offers copayment assistance for patients with various blood cancer diagnoses.
- Leukemia Research Foundation offers copayment Assistance for patients with various blood cancer diagnoses.
- Lymphoma Research Foundation provides financial aid for patients with lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease.
- Sarcoma Alliance grants money to reimburse medical and other expenses directly related to getting a second opinion from a sarcoma specialist.
- National Brain Tumor Society assists brain tumor patients with treatment-related expenses.
- Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation helps newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients afford expenses related to consulting with a mesothelioma expert through the Mary and Bob Cosentino Travel Grant Program.
- Colorectal Cancer Alliance provides a helpline, peer support programs, and colon cancer specific information about treatment. Patients can apply for a $200 monthly financial assistance for treatment.
- Colorectal CareLine provides case management and education, as well as assists with understanding benefits information, accessing Medicaid and/or charity care programs, and networks with financial assistance programs.
- LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare offers financial assistance to cancer survivors who are 6 months post-treatment with no evidence of disease for transportation to follow-up appointments, medical co-pays, cancer-related medications, and neuropsychological evaluation.
- HealthWell Foundation provides financial assistance to cover costs of prescription drug coinsurance, copayments, deductibles, health insurance premiums, and other selected out-of-pocket health care costs.
- Patient Access Network Foundation provides medical financial assistance for underinsured patients.
- Patient Advocate Foundation provides medical financial assistance for underinsured patients.
- Pharma assistance programs contact the manufacturer of your medication to inquire about any co-payment assistance programs. Most patients with private or commercial insurance will qualify, but Medicare and Medicaid generally do not qualify.
For Daily Living Expenses Impacted by Cancer Treatment
There are many resources that can help offset the costs of daily living expenses impacted by cancer treatment, including:
- All Chicago Emergency Fund is an emergency fund for patients who need critical financial assistance in order to avoid homelessness.
- The Sam Fund providers financial resources and information for young adult cancer survivors.
- St. Vincent DePaul is a series of thrift stores, food pantries, and financial support for food, utility, and rent.
- Catholic Charities offers a wide range of programs throughout Chicago, including emergency assistance, counseling, and health care.
- Cancer Care provides counseling, support groups, educational workshops, general financial assistance, copay assistance, and community programs.
- United Way of Metro Chicago offers support in obtaining insurance, education, and connection to financial opportunities.
- Illinois Department of Health and Human Services can provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or supplemental security income (SSI) benefits for groceries for those who qualify.
- Social Security Administration can provide Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for those who apply and qualify.
- Hotel Keys of Hope is a partnership between the American Cancer Society and Extended Stay America offering reduced priced hotel rooms for cancer patients and their families.
- ZERO360 provides comprehensive support for men with prostate cancer.
- Pink Fund offers general financial aid for breast cancer patients.
- National Marrow Donor Program offers general financial assistance for recipients of a MUD stem cell transplant (SCTx) through Be the Match.
- Bone Marrow Foundation Lifeline Fund offers general financial assistance for recipients of a stem cell transplant (SCTx).
- BMTInfoNet Patient Assistance Fund offers general financial assistance for recipients of a stem cell transplant (SCTx).
- HelpHOPELive helps with online fundraising for patients with a catastrophic illness.
- Give Forward helps with online fundraising for patients with cancer and other rare illnesses.
- Hope for Young Adults with Cancer: provides financial aid for all cancer patients ages 18 to 40 through the “Giving Hope Fund.”
- Cindy’s Legacy Charity provides gift cards to assist with expenses such as prescriptions, transportation/gas, medical supplies, and other household bills. (In 2020, only patients with Breast or Brain Cancer may qualify, and the diagnosis focus changes yearly.)
- Needy Meds provides information on healthcare programs offering direct prescription assistance and offers drug discount cards.
- Rx Assist provides information on healthcare programs offering direct prescription assistance.
- Rx Outreach provides information on healthcare programs offering direct prescription assistance.
- Good Days offers financial support for covering medication and treatment for people who cannot afford medication or treatment.
- Lazarex Cancer Foundation provides assistance with costs for FDA clinical trial participation, identification of clinical trial options, community outreach, and engagement.
- Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition, between 14 different cancer care organizations, offers a website that helps facilitate linking patients to specific needs in the area.
Other Recommended Cancer Resources
Other resources offered to those affected by cancer include:
Cancer Resources in Other Languages
Resources for UI Health Patients
Mile Square Urgent Care Walk-in Visits
1220 S. Wood Street
Mon-Fri Noon – 8 pm
Sat-Sun 10 am – 6 pm
At Mile Square South Shore
7037 S. Stony Island Ave
At UI Health
801 Paulina Ave
30 N. Michigan Ave Suite 410
To schedule an appointment with a UI mental health expert, call 312-413-7425.