DiSepio Institute

Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship

Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship


A comprehensive interdisciplinary center developed to provide outpatient services to all cancer patients and survivors in need. Whether newly diagnosed or long finished with treatment, our goal is to improve daily function and quality of life for the cancer survivor.

Cancer Survivor Rehab Image

Our Goals

The CRCS utilizes faculty, students, and staff of our Master of Cancer CarePhysical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy programs as well as additional departments in the School of Health Sciences and Education. We provide clinical care, education, and conduct research to meet the needs of rural Pennsylvanians with cancer:

  • Improve physical and psychological health
  • Enhance functional capacity and quality of life
  • Relieve symptoms and treatments' side effects
  • Modify lifestyle behaviors
  • Educate for health and wellness

Contact Us

DiSepio Institute for Rural Health & Wellness
Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship
108 Franciscan Way
Loretto, PA 15940


  • Clinical Care Services

    Available Services

    A variety of affordable clinical services are available to the community through the CRCS.

    • Rehabilitative Services
    • Physical Fitness Assessment
    • Supervised exercise programming
    • Follow-up and maintenance programming
    • Psychological support
    • Education and lifestyle behavior modification
    • Nutritional Counselling and weight management

    If you are interested in any of these services, please  complete, the Health History and Physical Activity Questionnaire.

  • Need for Rural Cancer Care

    CDC Report: Cancer deaths higher in rural America

    First report to detail cancer differences and mortality gap between rural and urban areas

    Death rates were higher in rural areas (180 deaths per 100,000 persons) compared with urban areas (158 deaths per 100,000 persons). Cancer deaths in rural areas decreased at a slower pace, increasing the differences between rural and urban areas.

    • While overall cancer incidence rates were somewhat lower in rural areas (442 cases per 100,000 persons) than in urban areas (457 cases per 100,000 persons), incidence rates were higher in rural areas for several cancers, including those related to tobacco use such as lung cancer and those that can be prevented by cancer screening such as colorectal and cervical cancers.
    • While rural areas have lower incidence of cancer than urban areas, they have higher cancer death rates. The differences in death rates between rural and urban areas are increasing over time.
  • Who We Are

    Integrated Expertise

    • The CRCS was founded on the principle that a patient centered approach to care requires a team of professionals from different disciplines. That patients experience physiological and psychological complications is central to our plan of care.
    • The Center was created and directed by Saint Francis University faculty members, Dr. Stephen Baker (Psychology), Dr. Stephen LoRusso, (Exercise Physiology) and Dr. Ivan Mulligan (Physical Therapy).  Each discipline is equally represented in our approach to patient care.
    • Psychological Services and Nutritional Support Services are currently in development with roll out expected shortly.
  • FAQ

    Who Can Come Here

    Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer and would like to improve their physical and psychological health, or anyone who would like to educate themselves on healthy lifestyle behaviors. To find out more:  call 814-472-3249 or email CRCS@francis.edu.



    We make every effort to accommodate your schedule and will initiate treatment as early as possible to expedite the recovery process. We are handicapped accessible, offer free parking, and provide a convenient drop-off area just steps from our front door.



    If you have been referred by a physician, we will keep your doctor informed with updates on your progress. We are committed to working with you and your physician to ensure that you receive the best care possible.

Survivor's Perspective

"I'm grateful that an organization like this cares enough to create a cancer care team, and sees the importance of helping build the foundation of getting well and staying well."
~Linda Gilroy Palmer, breast and ovarian cancer survivor

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