Baylor College of Medicine News

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund grant to start gynecologic cancer patient support program

Women recently diagnosed with gynecologic cancer at Baylor College of Medicine clinics will have access to a new support program that pairs patients with professionally trained volunteers who are survivors of gynecolgic cancer. The program is thanks to a new grant from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Drs. Marian Yvette Williams-Brown and Celestine Tung received a $50,000 grant from the organization to initiate the Woman to Woman Program at Baylor. They will oversee the implementation of the program at Baylor-staffed clinics at the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women and Harris Health System’s Smith Clinic.

“Physicians and other health care providers can explain a diagnosis or a procedure in great detail, but this does not compare to hearing the testimony from a patient who has actually experienced it,” said Williams-Brown, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor. “Bridging this gap will only help us care for our patients.”

The program is free for patients and is a professionally led, volunteer-driven support, education and advocacy model for women undergoing treatment for gynecologic cancer.

Women who are survivors of gynecologic cancers offer emotional support while mentoring, encouraging and empowering newly diagnosed women and sharing information and resources about the disease.

“This grant will provide much needed support for women going through a difficult time in their life that only someone else who has or is going through it can provide,” said Tung, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Baylor.

Volunteers are trained by a medical social worker with the assistance of materials designed by the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund specifically for the program.

The program supports all phases of treatment, recurrence and recovery.

The Woman to Woman program was started by the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund in 2003 at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

QVC is the national sponsor of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund’s Woman to Woman Program.

If you are a gynecologic cancer survivor and interested in participating, please contact Casey Steele Martinez, medical social worker, at casey.martinez@bcm.edu or 832-826-3748. Martinez will also serve as the program coordinator.