Gilda’s Club Quad Cities Named LIVESTRONG® Community Impact Project Finalist and Award Recipient PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Melissa Wright   
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 07:56

Program dedicated to helping caregivers of cancer patients and survivors will be implemented in 13 cities

Davenport, IA– April 21, 2014 – Today, 13 VitalHearts: Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training sites were announced as beneficiaries of the LIVESTRONG® Community Impact Project. These 13 organizations will be awarded $10,700 each in addition to training and tools to help replicate and implement the program in cities across the U.S. The VitalHearts Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training program is one of three proven cancer support programs included in the 2014 Community Impact Project selected by the LIVESTRONG Foundation, a top-rated non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by cancer today. More than 100 qualified hospitals, cancer centers, university students and community organizations in seven regions across the U.S. were selected to participate in the online voting campaign that determined the award recipients.

“We are honored to be one of only 13 sites across the nation to receive funding by the LIVESTRONG Foundation to implement the VitalHearts: Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training. As we are well aware, providing care for cancer survivors creates many demands on healthcare professionals and we plan to implement the training for our staff, as well as, other oncology professionals in the Quad City area who provide unremitting, compassionate care to those affected by cancer, “ said Melissa Wright, Gilda’s Club Quad Cities Program Director. Wright also “is thankful for the outpouring of local support that sets this community above others. This wouldn’t be possible without the votes we received.”

“We are so appreciative of everyone who took action to bring the Community Impact Project to their communities,” said Doug Ulman, Foundation president and CEO. “The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer today, and by immediately implementing these proven programs that provide critical emotional and practical support to those facing cancer, we are helping more people live life on their own terms. We take great pride in this opportunity to advance our mission.”

VitalHearts: The Resiliency Training Initiative’s mission is caring for cancer treatment providers who suffer from secondary or vicarious trauma, which is a significant, although hidden problem. Secondary Traumatic Stress includes such reactions as: depression, anxiety, persistent trauma imagery, sleep disturbances, mistrust of their organization, isolating from family/friends, frequent illness and loss of mission optimism, among other symptoms, due to the deep exposure to suffering that care providers are exposed to. VitalHearts’ program, the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training (STRT), revitalizes care providers, often saving careers of those who work with cancer patient and survivors by making them more resilient. This allows institutions to better retain their staff expertise, which gives crucial value to patients.

In addition to the Foundation’s financial support, the chosen organizations will receive a toolkit consisting of facilitator manuals, participant materials and evaluation forms; training and support from the model program’s staff; and access to additional tools and resources.

The VitalHearts finalist organizations for the Community Impact Project were determined through an online voting campaign that accumulated more than the 100,000 votes over an 18-day period (March 24-April 11). Finalists for the awards were determined by individual votes within each region. The 2014 VitalHearts recipients are:

    • American Cancer Society Hope Lodge – Grand Rapids, Mich.

    • Advocate Children’s Hospital – Oak Lawn, Ill.

    • The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Philadelphia, Pa.

    • East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.

    • Floyd Medical Center, Roma, Ga.

    • Gilda’s Club – Davenport, Iowa

    • Huntsman Cancer Institute – Farmington, Utah

    • Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at SJ/C – Savannah, Ga.

    • Little Red Door Cancer Agency – Indianapolis, Ind.

    • Providence Health Care Foundation – Spokane, Wash.

    • Stony Brook Medicine – Stony Brook, N.Y.

    • UT MD Anderson Cancer Center – Houston, Texas

    • UVA Cancer Center – Charlottesville, Va.

About Gilda’s Club Quad Cities

The mission of Gilda’s Club Quad Cities is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.

Free of charge, Gilda’s Club Quad Cities provides support, education and hope to all people affected by cancer.  As a Cancer Support Community affiliate, we are part of the largest employer of psychosocial oncology mental health professionals in the United States.  Our global network brings the highest quality cancer support to the millions of people touched by cancer. For more information visit our website at

About the VitalHearts Resiliency Training Initiative

VitalHearts: The Resiliency Training Initiative, a Denver, Colorado Trauma Training Center has as its mission caring for care-providers. Henry Tobey, Ph.D., VitalHearts’ founder, was selected in 1998 by the US Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime to develop a program to respond to the secondary traumatic consequences of victim service work. That program, the Vicarious Trauma Training (1999), represented the first effort by the Justice Department to address this problem which affects all who work in victim service professions. Following the federal grant, Dr. Tobey, developed a more comprehensive program, the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training. This new training serves a broader population. It is available to those who work with traumatized individuals regardless of the cause of trauma. The training provides an emotionally intense learning experience, in which participants examine the complex relationship between their challenging, moral work and their private lives. Care-providers find better ways to process all the trauma they encounter so they do not have to pay such high personal costs.

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation

The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Created in 1997, the Foundation is known for providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life. Known for its powerful brand – LIVESTRONG – the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top non-profit organizations, the Foundation has been recognized by industry leaders including Charity Navigator, the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit


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