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HealthWell Foundation Opens New Cancer-Related Behavioral Health Fund

Groundbreaking Fund Provides Financial Assistance to Cover Services Prescribed by Behavioral Health Providers

May 10, 2018

GERMANTOWN, MD (May 10, 2018) The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has launched a new fund to provide copayment assistance for behavioral health treatments related to a cancer diagnosis. Through theCancer-Related Behavioral Health Fund, HealthWell will provide up to $2,000 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level.  

A cancer diagnosis brings a wealth of psychological challenges. Depression and anxiety are common diagnoses associated with these challenges, yet social or emotional support is offered in less than half of cancer patients' care. Behavioral health issues can also contribute to harmful health behaviors. 

"Distress in the cancer setting is a relatively common but disruptive phenomenon, which adversely affects physical and emotional well-being, interferes with treatment, and increases suffering. The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) advocates for holistic patient care to address patient and caregiver concerns of all types yet also acknowledges that not all aspects of this care may be available at the cancer treatment setting or available without additional cost," said Teresa Deshields, Ph.D., ABPP, President of APOS. "The resources offered by the HealthWell Foundation will be enormously helpful to facilitate patients getting the care they need without additional financial burden."  

The HealthWell Foundation recognizes the unmet needs of oncology patients and the importance mental health has on treatment, recovery and overall well-being. Through this unique fund, HealthWell will assist patients in covering their out-of-pocket treatment-related costs for prescription drugs, counseling services, psychotherapy, and transportation. 

"We know that the risk of mental health concerns, like clinical depression, is often higher in individuals with serious medical illnesses, such as cancer. In fact, it is estimated that one in four people with cancer also suffer from clinical depression," said Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO, Mental Health America. "It is important to know the signs - some of which can be mistakenly attributed to the cancer itself. We applaud the HealthWell Foundation for recognizing this need and dedicating assistance for behavioral health treatments related to a cancer diagnosis."

"If cancer patients have certain behavioral health conditions and they are not treated for them, it can negatively impact health outcomes by decreasing the chances they will seek and adhere to treatment and by affecting their immune systems and ability to fight off cancer," said Suzanne Miller, PhD, Professor of Cancer Prevention and Control and Director of Patient Empowerment and Health Decision Making at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "This new fund will help remove the financial barrier patients may face when seeking evidence-based psychological treatment." Dr. Miller is Chairman of the Board for the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and also serves on the boards of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the HealthWell Foundation. 

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell's Cancer-Related Behavioral Health Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visitHealthWellFoundation.org. 

The HealthWell Foundation would like to recognize the following organizations for their guidance and support in helping us develop and promote our Cancer-Related Behavioral Health Fund: American Psychosocial Oncology Society, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Cancer Support Community, Mental Health America, and the National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors.

       

The Hospital of Fox Chase Cancer Center and its affiliates (collectively “Fox Chase Cancer Center”), a member of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence five consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.
For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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