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Saint Francis University Opens Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship

January 19, 2018 Tags: Health Sciences and Education , University News

CRCS EventSaint Francis University announced the opening of the Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship on Thursday at an event held at the DiSepio Institute for Rural Health and Wellness. Professionals in the healthcare and rehabilitation fields heard from center directors about the benefit of having this new resource for cancer rehabilitation available to the public. Whether newly diagnosed or long finished with treatment, the goal is to improve daily function and quality of life for the cancer survivor. “This truly is a mission fit for Saint Francis,” said the Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., President of the university. Under the supervision of faculty in the university’s School of Health Sciences, students will help rehabilitate and educate those who are combating the effects of cancer treatment. “This is a patient-centered approach using all of the resources we have at our disposal for the betterment of the patient,” said Center Co-Director Dr. Ivan Mulligan.

About the Center

Located on campus, the Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship (CRCS) is a comprehensive interdisciplinary center developed to provide affordable outpatient services to all cancer patients and survivors in need.

The CRCS will utilize faculty, students and staff of the  Master of Cancer Care, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs as well as additional departments in the School of Health Sciences. The staff will provide clinical care, education, and conduct research to meet the needs of rural Pennsylvanians with cancer. The goal being to improve their physical and psychological health, enhance their quality of life, relieve symptoms of treatments’ side effects, and modify lifestyle behaviors.

Some of the many services available are physical fitness assessments, supervised exercise programs, rehabilitative services, nutritional counseling, and weight management education.

Need for Cancer Care

According to the Center for Disease Control, cancer deaths are higher in rural America. While rural areas have a lower incidence of cancer than urban areas, they have higher death rates than those diagnosed in urban areas.

Additional Information

For more information on the types of services offered and how it will benefit rural cancer survivors and the community for years to come, visit or call (814) 472-3249. 

Photo: Dr. Ivan Mulligan, Co-Director for the Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship and Chair, Department of Physical Therapy, addresses the crowd at the opening of the CRCS.