University of Chicago Medical Center, Cancer Research Center and Gilda's Club Chicago form partnership

July 21, 2008

The University of Chicago Medical Center, the University's distinguished Cancer Research Center, and Gilda's Club Chicago have announced a new partnership to provide the Medical Center's oncology patients on-site access to the wide array of activities available at Gilda's Club.

Gilda's Club Chicago is a support community for men, women and children living with cancer, as well as for their families and friends. It is a free meeting place where people living with cancer join together to build social and emotional support.

Gilda's Club staff members come every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m to the 4th floor atrium of the Medical Center's Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine. Here they offer three activities each week for patients and family members. These include:

  • Support/Networking groups, facilitated by a licensed mental health professional;
  • Healing arts and movement workshops such as yoga, tai chi and a art classes; and
  • Various educational programs, lectures, workshops and social events.

"Gilda's Club Chicago is honored to be in partnership with the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center and the Medical Center in supporting those diagnosed with cancer, as well as their family and friends," said Gilda's Club Chicago CEO Laura Jane Hyde. Our shared commitment to the complete care of people living with cancer provides us with the opportunity to create something new within this world-class medical center."

Another key component to the Gilda's Club initiative involves physician outreach with UCMC's world class oncologists participating in the club's "Cancer in the Classroom" school support program, as well as other community-based speaking engagements.

The cancer program at the University of Chicago Medical Center is one of the best in the nation and is unmatched in the Chicago area. The Cancer Research Center is one of only two programs in Illinois designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center. The program is consistently ranked among the top cancer programs in the country and was named the best in Illinois by U.S.News & World Report.

"Like our association with the American Cancer Society, our new partnership with Gilda's Club will bring benefits to our cancer patients that will help them live richer, fuller lives and strengthen their resolve in the face of malignancy," said Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center. "We are pleased that this remarkable organization is supporting our efforts to provide patients with the medical, social, and psychological services that address all of their needs."

Gilda's Club was founded by the husband and friends of comedienne Gilda Radner who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. Her dream was to develop a community where anyone with cancer could receive the kind of support she received through cancer support groups. The first club, with its signature red door, opened in New York City in June 1995. Under the guidance of Gilda's Club Worldwide, there are 22 clubs open in North America and seven clubs currently in development. Gilda's Club Chicago opened its red door in 1998.

About the University of Chicago Medical Center
The University of Chicago Medical Center, established in 1927, is one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions. University of Chicago physician-scientists performed the first organ transplant and the first bone marrow transplant in animal models, the first successful living-donor liver transplant, the first hormone therapy for cancer and the first successful application of cancer chemotherapy. They discovered REM sleep and were the first to describe many of the stages of sleep. Care is provided by more than 700 attending physicians--most of whom are full-time University faculty members--620 residents and fellows, more than 1,000 nurses and 9,500 employees. The Medical Center, consistently recognized as a leading provider of complex medical care, is the only Illinois hospital ever to make the U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll, with eight clinical specialties--digestive disorders; cancer; endocrinology; neurology and neurosurgery; heart and heart surgery; kidney disease; geriatrics; and ear, nose and throat--ranked among the top 25 programs nationwide. The Medical Center was awarded Magnet status in 2007, the highest level of recognition for nursing care.

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Press Contact

John Easton
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john.easton@uchospitals.edu