A diagnosis of leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma brings many daily challenges. LLS is committed to providing support and guidance to patients throughout their journey and to the health professionals who care for them. Aligning with LLS’ strategic plan for 2008-2011, the CT Chapter intends to offer all patients access to information and services at all points in their cancer journeys. Last fiscal year, the CT Chapter made contact with over 600 patients.
Blood cancers do not discriminate by race, age, or gender; therefore LLS is committed to supporting all those affected in the state of Connecticut. The CT Chapter has recognized two underserved populations (Pediatrics and Hispanic) and is developing steps to improve outreach to the underserved, including culturally appropriate programs and services. Ten new programs were held for these two populations last fiscal year, and the CT Chapter’s Patient Services Managers plan to continue these programs in FY12.
It is estimated that there are over 18,000 blood cancer patients living in the state of Connecticut. In 2010, there were 1,740 new blood cancer patients diagnosed in Connecticut. Newly diagnosed patients are under enormous amounts of emotional and financial stress. Many blood cancer patients are unable to work during their treatment and this financial hardship, partnered with the rising cost of healthcare, informs the need for LLS' Patient Aid program. The Patient Aid Program is often how a patient first hears about LLS. After the one page application is sent in to the CT Chapter office, one of our Patient Service Managers contacts the patient to share LLS Patient Service Programs. Patients often feel they don’t have a support network that knows what they are going through; therefore, LLS’ programs like First Connection and patient support groups are extremely important.
There is also a need for LLS’ Welcome Back programs to help facilitate reentry back into schools, as school staff often don’t know how to explain to other school children what a leukemia patient has gone through. As stated in the Program Goals, a large focus of the Patient Services Department is to support a need for better outreach to the two identified underserved populations (Pediatrics & Hispanics). The Patient Services Department will continue to expand their outreach to these populations by continuing to meet with Community Based Organizations (CBOs), such as the Center For Eliminating Health Disparities Among Latinos (CEHDL) and The Hispanic Health Council. Within the past year, the CT Chapter is extremely proud to have initiated collaboration with these CBOs on a Hispanic Family Night and a weekly Spanish-speaking family support group for individuals impacted by cancer.
LLS is the leader in support and educational programs in the area of blood cancers. The First Connection program is unique to LLS and is often the program that patients state they appreciate the most. The opportunity to have a casual conversation with someone who has gone through exactly what the patient is going through is critical. In addition, LLS is one of the only organizations to give out patient financial aid.
The CT Chapter has been recognized for excellence on numerous occasions by LLS’ National Office for service and support of its patients and their families.
In the current economic climate, the challenge that exists for the Connecticut Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is our ability to continue raising funds that are used both to serve patients in our community and to support research that is critical to prolonging lives and ultimately to finding a cure for blood cancers. We have addressed this challenge by targeting our events toward various segments of the public using both a geographic focus and a demographic focus. We have also charged our Board of Trustees with recruiting more volunteers to participate at our events and to help raise awareness of the importance of our mission. We have also made great progress in attracting Trustees to our Board that meet the demographic and geographic diversity of our constituents in Connecticut. This year we inaugurated a quarterly newsletter to help raise awareness for our LLS patient services programs and our fund raising efforts and we continue to look for ways to expand our reach throughout the State. Over the past two years, we have added a StarWrite author’s luncheon where guests get to meet a popular author and listen to them reflect on motivations in their life as a writer, and a family oriented Hawaiian-themed obstacle course race called the Pineapple Classic where again, participants enjoy a fun day with friends and family and learn more about how they can help those diagnosed with a blood cancer. Our Board members, our volunteers and our staff, many of whom are blood cancer survivors, are energetic in working toward beating this disease and devote numerous hours organizing and attending events and meeting with families and those whose lives have been changed by the diagnosis of a blood cancer. Its what drives many of us to work tirelessly to raise funds in the race to find a cure.
The LLS Patient Aid program provides a $100 stipend for patients to help cover the costs of transportation, drugs and various treatments not covered by insurance.
To provide financial support and alleviate stress brought on by financial hardship.
Patients state that the financial aid they receive from us helps them make up for out of pocket medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.
First Connection is a program that links newly diagnosed patients to a peer volunteer who has experienced a similar diagnosis. The CT Chapter seeks funding for local training of peer volunteers. LLS would like to expand its volunteers to include underserved populations in the communities.
The provide support and community resource information to others facing a similar diagnosis.
Through First Connection Program, and other programs I help with I always encourage everyone, patients, family members, and even caregivers to go to these support group meetings. These meeting are a large pot of information. They are also a great way for family members to talk to other families. I have gotten great feedback about that. When I attend the group meetings, I take information from L.L.S with me, when I leave I take questions back to find answers. As it is they are not an US and THEM programs, but WE as one. That is why these programs are so very important. I would not be where I am today if not for these programs. They all help people have a better life.
Family Support Groups provide mutual support and education for patients and family members.
The CT Chapter provides 12 different support groups to patients and their families. Some groups are disease specific while others are general.
I will be forever grateful for having 2 ongoing support groups to attend while I continue my fight against this disease. I continue to attend them in an attempt to give back and assist others as they begin their journeys. They give me a purpose and inspire me to continue to hang in there in the fight to cure this and other cancers in our lifetime.Most sincerely,Ginny B
Our Co-Pay Assistance Program helps eligible patients with certain blood cancer diagnoses defray the cost of mounting insurance co-payments and insurance premiums.
Last fiscal year,123 Connecticut patients received $285,962 in co-pay assistance!
"I don't know where we'd be without this program. Every little bit that we can get is a relief for us" -Steven & Charlotte
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) sponsors a range of free telephone and web education programs, and local education programs of interest to patients and caregivers.
LLS also sponsors conferences and meetings each year for physicians, nurses, social workers, researchers and other healthcare professionals. Live and past versions of these events are provided free to the public as ongoing informational resources.
Jeannie Montano joined The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Westchester / Hudson Valley (WHV) Chapter in 1996. She has served LLS for over fourteen years as a Campaign Director and Executive Director of WHV Chapter, Regional and Field Director supervising Executive Directors across the country, and currently as the Executive Director of the Connecticut Chapter since January 2009.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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