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Introducing WINGS: Holistic support through and beyond cancer

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​"Hope always spreads her wings in unfathomable seas."

- Ralph Waldo Em​erson

National Cancer Survivors Day® is the world’s largest annual cancer survivor event. Traditionally acknowledged on the first Sunday in June, the event kicks-off worldwide celebrations throughout the summer. Participants unite to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.

With advances in detection and treatment, the number of cancer survivors in the United States has more than tripled in the past 30 years to almost 12 million. With more survivors comes the need for post-treatment cancer care similar to the chronic illness support now routinely provided to individuals experiencing diabetes or heart disease.

In response to this need, the WINGS (We Inspire, Nurture and Give Support) Cancer Survivorship Program has become a new component of Marshfield Clinic’s ongoing commitment to quality patient-centered care.

Survivorship is a dynamic concept that affirms the potential for quality living from the time of diagnosis through the balance of life. Also included are “co-survivors;” the family members, friends and caregivers whose lives are impacted by the diagnosis.

Program planning has been a collaborative effort that includes the ongoing input of staff system-wide and inspiration from the WINGS Advisory Council (which includes both survivors and co-survivors.) What has emerged is an evidence-based program in accordance with national standards that is the first of its kind in Wisconsin.

WINGS education, support and resource care offerings include:

  • An individualized treatment summary and follow-up wellness plan
  • Access to support groups either on-site or by referrals to local or web-based programs linking survivors together
  • Access to information about cancer prevention, early detection, genetics, disease treatment, symptom management and psychosocial, spiritual, and financial, provided through Materials and/or referrals via the Internet or support organizations.
  • Ongoing opportunities for “life after treatment” support and education.