Additional services and coordinated care for patients
In the course of their care, cancer patients often must deal with emotional and physical challenges that require special services and support. Through years of experience working with patients, the staff at Ellis understands what patients and their families are up against. This helps us provide quality, compassionate nursing care for cancer patients on a dedicated unit at Ellis Hospital. In addition, Ellis Medicine offers a number of cancer-related services and support groups
Cancer-related support services at Ellis:
Infusion Therapy: A safe and comfortable outpatient setting where Ellis’ highly experienced team of IV nurses administers IV medications, IM medications and blood products.
Lymphedema Services: Helps eliminate and prevent infection, while alleviating and managing the pain and debilitation brought on by lymphedema. Learn more...
Palliative Care: Helps patients and their families deal with pain and symptom management, coordination of care, treatment decision-making and emotional and spiritual support.
Breast Health Nurse Navigator: Provides support and guidance from the initial diagnosis through treatment and recovery.
Women’s Cancer Support Group
Ellis Medicine offers an ongoing women's cancer support group. The Healing Thru Sharing group is open to survivors of breast and any other kind of cancer. The group is open to women who are recently diagnosed, receiving treatment or are now cancer free. Kim Stefanik, the Breast Health Nurse Navigator at Ellis Medicine and a longtime breast cancer survivor, is the group's facilitator.
The group helps women understand and cope with many fears that come with a breast cancer diagnosis, including those relating to surgery, treatment and alteration of body image. The support group provides women with an intimate setting in which to share their experiences, learn coping techniques and find emotional support through the strength and warmth of others.
The group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month in the Mansion building at Bellevue Woman's Center from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. New members are encouraged to register to help organizers get an accurate count for room set-up and refreshments. For more information or to register, please call 518.347.3310.
Additional resources for cancer patients
For more information about cancer support services, please visit:
For more information about cancer care at Ellis Medicine, please call 518.243.4317.
Outpatient infusion therapy services
Ellis Medicine's Outpatient Infusion Center provides a safe and comfortable outpatient setting where our highly experienced team of IV nurses administers IV medications, IM medications and blood products.
We treat a variety of patients, including those diagnosed with:
- Alpha I deficiency requiring prolastin
- Iron deficient anemia
- Autoimmune deficiency
- B-cell renal failure
- Blood dyscrasis requiring blood transfusions
- Chemotherapy-induced decrease in blood counts
- Crohn's Disease
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Factor 8 and Factor 9 deficiency
- Infections requiring IV antibiotics
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
Experience, Quality and Safety
Quality and patient safety are the cornerstones of our work. Our nursing staff has more than 50 years of combined experience in acute care settings, such as the emergency room, ICU, oncology, open heart surgery and case management.
All infusions are prepared by Ellis Medicine pharmacists. A centralized nurses' station provides excellent line-of-sight viewing of treatment rooms, and the Outpatient Infusion Center is backed by the Ellis emergency department and the full resources of Ellis Medicine.
Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Ellis Medicine Outpatient Infusion Center
Ellis Health Center
600 McClellan Street
Schenectady, NY 12304
Phone: 518.347.5528 or 518.347.5332
Improving quality of life for patients with swollen limbs
Lymphedema is the swelling of arms, legs or other parts of the body due to excessive accumulation of fluid related to problems with the lymph system. The chronic condition progressively deteriorates the limbs, making them prone to infection. While not curable, lymphedema is manageable and proper treatment improves health and quality of life.
Lymphedema is most commonly found in patients who experience the following:
- Cancer treatment
- Chronic venous disease
- Traumatic injury
- Surgery Lipedema
- Family history of Lymphedema
- Managing Lymphedema
Ellis Medicine offers a comprehensive program that helps eliminate and prevent infection, while alleviating and managing the pain and debilitation brought on by lymphedema. Our patients benefit from intense clinical treatment and they learn to easily maintain their progress through self care. The program is most successful when patients are committed and actively engaged in their ongoing care.
Lymphedema management is a two-phase process that begins with intense clinical therapy by lymphedema experts in Ellis Hospital's outpatient setting. It requires 3-5 patient visits a week for 4-8 weeks.
Phase One - Clinical Therapy includes:
- Skin Care: Cleansing and lubrication prevent infection in the affected limb.
- Manual Lymph Drainage: Gentle, manual stimulation and massage of lymphatic vessels helps body eliminate excess fluid.
- Compression bandaging and garments: Prevent fluid from accumulating again in treated area.
- Exercise: Our experts design an individual exercise program, which, along with compression bandaging, reduces swelling.
Phase Two - Maintenance:
As an active member of his/her therapy team, the patient is taught how to use bandages and lymph stimulation techniques at home to maintain progress.
Lymphedema treatment hours: Monday-Friday, 8a.m. - 4 p.m.
Call 518.345.5442 to schedule an appointment.
Palliative care improves quality of life
Ellis Medicine offers a palliative care program for patients with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses that focuses on relieving pain and improving quality of life.
The palliative care program can help patients and their families deal with:
- Pain and symptom management
- Coordination of care, including home care and Hospice
- Treatment decision-making
- Emotional and spiritual support
Palliative care is provided during any phase of an illness, including active treatment such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Ellis' compassionate palliative care team is led by program medical director George Giokas, M.D., and includes doctors, nurses, case managers (social workers), nutrition experts, pharmacists and pastoral care staff. The team strives to help patients live each day as comfortably and well as possible.
For more information about Ellis’ palliative care program, please call 518.243.3330.
An ally for women battling breast cancer
Dealing with the myriad of emotions and the many decisions surrounding a breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. That's why Ellis Medicine now has a Breast Health Nurse Navigator, a registered nurse who provides support and guidance to breast cancer patients throughout diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Ellis' Breast Health Nurse Navigator is Kim Stefanik, R.N., a nursing veteran, breast care advocate and a longtime breast cancer survivor herself. She helps patients and their families navigate the healthcare system by facilitating care plans and providing assistance with medical and all other ancillary breast care services.
More importantly, Stefanik is available on a one-on-one basis to help explain the options or just to listen. "When women learn they may be facing a diagnosis of breast cancer, everything stops," Stefanik explains. "They are scared, and it's hard for them to process all the information they're receiving. My role is to calmly support them, answer their questions and empower them to make decisions about their treatment by ensuring they have the information they need."
Ellis Medicine's Breast Health Nurse Navigator steps in to meet a patient at the time of an abnormal finding and begins by making sure patients are scheduled for the most appropriate diagnostic testing within a few days, not weeks. Once a diagnosis is confirmed and the cancer is staged, a multidisciplinary team convenes to develop a coordinated care plan. The Navigator is there, providing guidance and support, every step of the way: serving as the main point of contact for women facing breast cancer and their families; scheduling appointments; making sure necessary paperwork is completed; and working closely with the Ellis-affiliated radiologists, pathologists, surgeons, oncologists and other specialists to coordinate care. For patients, coordinated care translates into better outcomes - a better shot at beating cancer.
"This is such an important and needed service in our community," Stefanik says. "I know how frightening and overwhelming a cancer diagnosis can be. I also know about the outstanding services available locally for cancer patients at Ellis Medicine."
In addition to her role as Breast Health Nurse Navigator, Stefanik also facilitates Ellis' Healing Thru Sharing support group, which helps women understand and cope with many fears that come with a breast cancer diagnosis, including those relating to surgery, treatment and alteration of body image. The support group provides women who have or have had breast cancer or other types of cancer, with an intimate setting in which to share their experiences, learn coping techniques, and find emotional support through the strength and warmth of others.
The Breast Health Nurse Navigator is part of Ellis Medicine's comprehensive women's health program, which provides a full range of woman's care services through a lifetime of changing health and wellness needs.
For more information about the Breast Care services at Ellis Medicine or the Healing Thru Sharing support group, please call 518.347.3310.