St. Mary Medical Center Encourages Cancer Patients and Caregivers to Thrive

Cancer-Survivorship-1More than 80 participants gathered at St. Mary Medical Center’s Valparaiso Health Center on April 18 for the 2015 Cancer Survivorship Series Surviving to Thriving: Beating Depression After Cancer, an event dedicated to those whose lives have been impacted by cancer. Nancy Beckman, Ph.D., Amy Siston, Ph.D., and Pooja Dave, M.A., members of the University of Chicago’s Psycho-oncology team, presented on combating anxiety and depression after cancer, offering tips to improve mood and the quality of life for patients and their caregivers.

“Treating the mind and spirit is just as important as treating the body,” said Donna Faitak, supervisor at St. Mary Medical Center’s Women’s Diagnostic Center. “Our survivorship series brings together resources and services that patients and their caregivers can utilize to help manage their wellbeing as they journey through and beyond cancer treatment.”

The event also featured a vendor exhibition, with more than 20 local businesses providing information on their services that benefit cancer patients, including support groups, alternative treatments, dietary advice, and therapy animals. The morning’s events concluded with a cooking demonstration by St. Mary’s Chef Ryan C. Smith, who prepared a white bean chili from the cookbook, “Cooking for Zita.”

For more information on cancer services at St. Mary Medical Center, visit