McLeod Regional Medical Center Offers Unique Cancer Rehabilitation Program for Cancer Survivors


Cancer survivors now have an opportunity to receive rehabilitation services designed to improve their treatment and recovery. McLeod Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce the availability of the STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehab) Program. McLeod, the only hospital in eastern South Carolina to offer this program, is leading the way in providing excellent cancer rehabilitation services to patients.

McLeod Regional Medical Center has earned the STAR Program® Certification from Oncology Rehab Partners, experts in the field of survivorship care.  This certification uniquely qualifies McLeod to offer premium Oncology Rehabilitation Services to cancer survivors from diagnosis and beyond.

To receive this certification, McLeod Regional Medical Center staff underwent extensive training and demonstrated successful implementation of the STAR Program’s evaluation and treatment protocols. The first group of medical professionals to receive training included staff members from physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology, oncology, social work, IV therapy, radiation oncology, breast health services, pastoral care, and administration.  

"At McLeod, we understand how the side effects of cancer treatment, such as fatigue, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, difficulty with memory or concentration, muscle aches, bone or joint pain, lymphedema, weakness and balance problems, can affect a person’s quality of life," said Ashley Atkinson, Senior Occupational Therapist and McLeod STAR Program Coordinator. "Our goal is to minimize the side effects of treatment, and to help cancer survivors return to the activities they enjoy.

"We also want cancer survivors in our region to know there is assistance available to patients who are newly diagnosed, those undergoing cancer treatment, and long-term cancer survivors, return them to the activities they enjoy," added Atkinson.

The STAR training provided McLeod staff with a thorough understanding of the unique rehabilitation needs of cancer survivors, as well as new skills to help patients increase strength and energy, alleviate pain, and improve daily function and well-being.

These McLeod specialized caregivers, representing various medical disciplines, work together with the patient to develop a personalized rehabilitation plan. Each team member provides expertise, guidance, training and support during a patient’s cancer treatment.

"As a cancer survivor, I am proud that McLeod is offering a rehabilitation program that can help improve cancer symptoms and a person’s daily functioning," said Harriet Jeffords, Director of McLeod Rehabilitation Services. "I know during my treatment I would have personally benefited from this type of program."

The STAR Program Certification training for McLeod Regional Medical Center staff was made possible through a grant provided by the McLeod Health Foundation.