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St. Luke's Hospital Launches St. Louis' First STAR-Certified Cancer Rehabilitation Program

St. Luke's highly-trained, compassionate care team customizes rehab plans for cancer survivors' physical and emotional healing.

CHESTERFIELD, MO, March 29, 2012 - St. Luke's Hospital announces the launch of St. Luke's Cancer Rehabilitation Program, the first in St. Louis to earn the nationally-recognized STAR ProgramĀ® Certification (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation).

The program focuses on the physical and emotional healing of cancer survivors. Due to the cancer itself and the chemotherapy and radiation treatments they may receive, many survivors face fatigue, emotional distress, pain, balance and gait problems, cognitive problems, sexual dysfunction, weight loss, sleep problems, speech/language disorders, urinary incontinence and other conditions.

"Cancer treatment can take a great toll on patients both physically and emotionally," said Rod Henning, St. Luke's Hospital director of oncology services. "Offering the first STAR-certified rehabilitation program in St. Louis allows us to provide the full continuum of care through St. Luke's Center for Cancer Care in order to improve the quality of life for our community, particularly for cancer survivors and their families."

The comprehensive program is available to survivors of all forms of cancer. A compassionate, highly-trained team of caregivers, including physicians, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, dietitians, social workers and more, works with each patient on a personalized rehabilitation plan to address all the conditions they experience after their cancer treatment. These efforts can help them increase strength and energy, alleviate pain and improve daily function.

STAR Certification was developed by Oncology Rehab Partners, leading experts in the field of survivorship care. In order to achieve certification, St. Luke's clinicians completed a comprehensive training course on the rehabilitation of cancer survivors.

Oncology Rehab Partners Founder Julie Silver, MD, is a renowned expert in rehabilitation medicine and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. She developed STAR Certification after going through cancer treatment herself and realizing that she desperately needed rehabilitation in order to return to her former level of function. "Every cancer survivor should be offered the opportunity to heal as well as possible and function at an optimal level whether their cancer is cured, in remission or they live with cancer as a chronic disease," said Dr. Silver. "By achieving STAR Certification, St. Luke's Hospital has demonstrated a commitment to providing exceptional care to cancer survivors as they heal after treatment."

About St. Luke's Hospital:
St. Luke's Hospital in Chesterfield, Mo. is a regional healthcare provider committed to improving the quality of life for patients and the community. The 493-bed, not-for-profit hospital offers care in more than 60 specialty areas and serves the region from more than 20 locations across the greater St. Louis area. St. Luke's is the only Missouri hospital recognized as one of America's 50 Best Hospitals TM by HealthGradesĀ® (2007-2012). For more information, visit stlukes-stl.com/newsroom .

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