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Patient Support Services

Duke Radiation Oncology is proud to offer several programs to help patients and their families before, during and after their radiation treatment.

Please click the links below to learn more.

 

Nutrition

Nutrition is an essential part of a cancer patient's treatment.  Registered Dietitians help you with making sure your body has everything it needs during your cancer journey to stay as healthy, strong and hydrated as possible.

With good nutrition, the body is better able to tolerate and recover from radiation treatments. A well nourished body and mind are invaluable and this will assist you in getting through your radiation treatment as strong as possible.
 

Services Provided in the Duke Cancer Center
  • Provide information on managing some of the side effects of cancer treatment.
  • Help with making sure you are eating optimally throughout your treatments and after your treatment is completed.  There is a large amount of nutrition information available on the internet, through books, and in the news.
  • Help you to understand and apply nutrition that works best for you, your diagnosis, and your life.
  • You can schedule an appointment to meet with a Registered Dietitian that specializes in the nutrition care routinely seen with your type of caner but have individual needs as related to cancer treatment. Your Radiation Oncologist or primary care nurse can refer a patient to their personal Registered Dietitian.  An appointment to meet with a disease specific Dietitian is scheduled through the Radiation Oncology Scheduling HUB.
     
Contacts

Julie Hann, MS, RD, LDN, CSO (Sarcoma, GU, Heme/Lymph)
Phone: 919-668-2290
julie.hann@duke.edu

Ann Hill, MS, RD, LDN ( Thoracic, Melanoma, Brain)
Phone: 919-613-8642
ann.onyenwoke@duke.edu

Lily McWilliams, RD, LDN (GI)
Phone: 919-613-9382
lillian.mcwilliams@duke.edu

Dayle Van Ess, MS, RD, LDN (Head & Neck)
Phone: 919-631-6379
dayle.van.ess@duke.edu

Patricia Wilkes, MS, RD, LDN​ (Breast, Gyn, Endocrine)
Phone: 919-613-3688
patricia.wilkes@duke.edu

Financial Assistance

This service is designed to ensure that patients receive pre-authorizations for all radiation treatment prior to their first treatment. Further, we are a resource for patients by providing information on how they can obtain financial assistance.
 

Services Provided in the Duke Cancer Center
  • Address patient's billing and insurance questions
  • Call insurance companies for pre authorizations for radiation treatment
  • Gather benefit information for patients.
  • Inform patients of critical information regarding their insurance coverage.
  • Work with in-house social worker to try and seek financial relief for patients not covered through their insurance plan by investigating various Duke sponsored programs to ease their financial burden. Duke also receives donations to help our patients pay for medical treatment.
     
Contacts

Tasha Streater, Financial Care Counselor​
tasha.streater@duke.edu
919-668-6446 

Subrina Byas, Financial Care Counselor
919-668-6687
subrina.byas@duke.edu

Karen Terrell, Financial Care Counselor
karen.terrell@duke.edu
919-660-3032 

Tikki Vaughan, Team Leader/Financial Care Counselor
tikki.vaughan@duke.edu
919-681-9187

Social Work

Oncology social workers help patients and their loved ones cope with the emotional and practical concerns that accompany the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Individual, family and group consultations are available to both inpatients and outpatients.
 

Services Provided in the Duke Cancer Center
  • Psychosocial Assessments
  • Counseling
  • Safety Assessments
  • Resource-finding
  • Supportive Therapies
     
Contacts

Gregory Bankoski, LCSW (Head & Neck, GI, Thoracic, Melanoma, Sarcoma)
Office: 919-668-6676
Pager: 919-970-2722
gregory.bankoski@duke.edu

Tara Kenyon, LCSW (Brain Tumor)
Office: 919-688-6178
Pager: 919-970-3520
tara.kenyon@duke.edu

Maggie McDermott, LCSW (Brain Tumor)
Office: 919-681-1687
Pager: 919-970-2283
margaret.mcdermott@duke.edu

Terri Strong, LCSW (Breast, GYN, Endocrinology, GU, Hematology)
Office: 919-684-5259
Pager: 919-206-3993
terri.strong@duke.edu

Bethany Henshall, LCSW (Adult Bone Marrow Transplant)
Office: 919-668-1036
bethany.henshall@duke.edu

Maurisa Darby, LCSW (Adult Bone Marrow Transplant)
Office: 919-668-1035
maurisa.darby@duke.edu

Renea Valea, LCSW (Adult Bone Marrow Transplant)
Office: 919-668-4368
rena.valea@duke.edu

Pet Therapy

The Pets at Duke program was established in 1994 based on research support showing that visiting with a pet can reduce stress symptoms, lower blood pressure temporarily, combat feelings of isolation and even lengthen a person’s life expectancy. Since opening in early 2012, the Duke Cancer Center is pleased to offer this unique and positive experience to patients and families.

Patients with cancer are prone to depression, acute stress, feelings of isolation, anxiety, fatigue and fears of death. The psychological comorbidities of cancer negatively affect the health outcomes of patients, and must be addressed to treat patients properly, a movement supported by the Joint Commission.

Animal-assisted activity/therapy is a highly effective form of psychotherapy intervention that has been shown to:

  • Aide stress and depression reduction
  • Provide a sense of companionship that can combat feelings of isolation
  • Help patients to achieve relaxation and to feel connected to a companion (a dog) in order to facilitate the patient’s healing and rehabilitation

Therapy dog visitation is offered in designated areas of the patient waiting lobby.
 

Contacts

Duke Cancer Patient Support Program
919-684-4497
cancersupport@duke.edu

Kim Light, Chief Dosimetrist and Radiation Oncology Pet Therapy Coordinator
919-818-5694
kim.light@dm.duke.edu