By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 3, 2024.
Lethbridge Family Services will be partnering with Wellspring Alberta to provide free support to families navigating through a cancer diagnosis.
Lethbridge Family Services CEO Sandra Mintz said Thursday that LFS is all about meeting the community needs, and they realized some community members need support while dealing with a cancer diagnosis within their family structure.
“Cancer support services vary across the province, and one thing that we know that is really important for people or caregivers who are facing cancer, is that they have other people to talk to who know exactly what it is that they’re going through,” said Mintz.
She said from her own experience, there is no substitute for talking about it with somebody who is going through the same thing.
Â “There’s no substitute for having those face-to-face conversations, so we are really proud of the fact that we can partner with Wellspring and we can offer that to the Lethbridge community.”
Outreach manager of Wellspring Alberta Rebecca Perkins said Wellspring Alberta’s mission is to ensure that no one has to face cancer alone.
“As outreach manager my goal is to build stronger cancer support communities across the entire province of Alberta. To do that we need partnerships. We’re so excited and so proud to be partnered with my Lethbridge Family Services,” said Perkins.
Â She said there are many synergies that align with both organizations, one of them being they are community-driven and together they will be able to have a bigger and more powerful impact on people who are living with cancer in Lethbridge.
“We follow a community participant tree approach. What that means is that if we’re coming into a community to try to launch in-person programs and build a stronger cancer support community, we want that to be driven by the local community to meet their needs and to fill gaps that are identified,” said Perkins.
She said another reason they are partnering up with LFS is because they both have a strong focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, and both work with people who need a variety of support services.
“We’re also able to refer back to one another’s different programs holistically. We’re providing the people and the community of Lethbridge with a greater diversity of programming,” said Perkins.
Since Wellspring Alberta does not have a physical place to offer its services in Lethbridge, that is where LFS is able to help.
“We have the facility here in Lethbridge. Wellspring doesn’t yet have a physical location in Lethbridge but they have a plethora of cancer support services so it seems like a natural fit in a partnership for us to work together,” said Mintz.
Wellspring Alberta works closely with different healthcare professionals across the province, including the Jack Ady Cancer Centre at Chinook Regional Hospital.
“We have a beautiful relationship with the amazing team there, and we rely very strongly on healthcare professional referrals,” said Perkin.
She said even though they rely on referrals, they are not a prerequisite to be able to utilize the Wellspring services.
“We also have a website where people can become a member of Wellspring, which is free and requires no referral. All our programming and services including the amazing cancer connect program that we run here locally in Lethbridge is free of charge for patients and caregivers,” said Perkins.