I was just diagnosed with cancer, and I feel overwhelmed.”
General support to cope with fear, anger, confusion or change brought about by a recent diagnosis or ongoing illness. Gather a sense of what to expect, questions to ask.
How do I get a second opinion without offending my doctor?”
Navigate complex health information. Understand a diagnosis, navigate the health care system, create a partnership with providers, coordinate care.
A clinical trial may be my only hope – how can I find one that is right for me? What are the risks and benefits?”
Explore evidence and options and frame health care decisions. Treatment and care options, rare conditions, identifying and gaining access to local and national experts, and research clinical trials.
My insurer says my treatment is not the current ‘standard of care’. How do I appeal? How will I pay for treatment?”
Access health care. How to access care and approach health literacy, language/cultural barriers, transportation, and other factors that affect access.
I need to apply for Social Security benefits, but I don’t know what other programs I might qualify for.”
Finances and insurance. Understand health insurance coverage and reimbursement; qualify and apply for federal, state and county public benefits, including Medicaid (Medical Assistance), Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and identify alternative coverage options (e.g. Katie Beckett program, Community/Charity Care).
My husband’s FMLA is running out and he is not ready to return to work. How can we protect his job?”
Employment. Take steps to secure, understand and use health and disability coverage and protections (e.g., Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), work accommodations, leaves of absence, changing relationship to work); communicate effectively with employers.
I don’t know how to tell my kids I have breast cancer.”
Find support. Help patients identify and build support (family, friends, community, faith-based groups, medical team, and others).
How can I best help myself?” or, “I’m worried about Dad’s treatment options.”
Advocate for oneself. Plan, strategize and learn to navigate health-related issues; help develop a “plan” to address issues.
I want to die at home – what are my options?”
End-of-life issues. Key questions, timing, facilitating difficult conversations, changes in care, coverage issues, available options, payment.