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Hospital, American Cancer Society team up

(ran SS edition of METRO & STATE)

The group will open a satellite office at the VA Medical Center at Bay Pines to provide a broader range of cancer services. The dedication is Monday.

The VA Medical Center at Bay Pines will become the first veterans' hospital of 173 in the country to have an American Cancer Society satellite office on its premises.

The office will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Monday at the VA Medical Center, 10000 Bay Pines Blvd. in the J.C. Cobb Room, on the hospital's first floor (Building 100). An open house is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. in the ACS office, in the hospital's Patient Education Resource Center, also known as PERC.

"The purpose of both the Cancer Society and PERC is to provide health information in a wide variety of formats," said Cassandra Montes, cancer control program manager in the ACS Pinellas unit in Pinellas Park. "This will allow patients and their families to take an active part in their own health care and share in the decisionmaking with their health care providers."

The ACS office will supplement existing PERC resources with information on various types of cancer _ including books, pamphlets, videos and Web site information _ as well as coordinating the distribution of "comfort items" and other special services.

Such items include turbans, wigs and hats for cancer patients experiencing hair loss because of chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Special services include assistance in arranging transportation to and from appointments, coordinating cancer support groups and other services.

Montes said Cancer Society volunteers will run the satellite office from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Robert J. Samuels, founding chairman of the Florida Cancer Education Network, will be the main speaker at Monday's 11 a.m. dedication. He also serves on the board of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.

The event is open to the public. For information, call the VA library, 398-9366, or the Cancer Society, 546-9822.

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