NATIONALLY KNOWN THORACIC SURGEON LAUNCHES ‘SECOND WIND SOCIETY’ FOR LUNG CANCER PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS
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COMPLEMENTS MOBILE SCREENING PROJECT
— Dr. Rob Headrick
CHATTANOOGA, TN, USA, March 31, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Dr. Rob Headrick has spent his career dedicated to lung cancer. His passion for his patients led to the development of technology to promote efficient mobile screenings; however, he realized that care for these individuals often meant so much more.
“Healthcare constantly changes and we have to be adept in meeting those needs. The mobile unit does this, but there’s another critical piece to the puzzle and that’s in addressing the needs of supporting those patients.”
Headrick found that families, friends and caregivers of patients are often stressed in meeting the needs of loved ones. Some are forced to take a leave of absence from their jobs to care for patients while others are faced with the knowledge that the primary wage earner for the family is dying of cancer. His passion led to an additional purpose: that of supporting patients and those who provide support and care to them.
Throughout the cancer journey, patients and their caregivers have few places to turn for resources. He recently launched the ‘Second Wind Society’ with the goal of providing a resource and place to connect with others willing to share their experiences. Headrick said, “Lung cancer can literally take your breath away, but this group is here to support patients and those caring for them.” Members of the group come from across the country as well as from outside of the U.S. and while they may never meet personally, they know that they now have a resource for their questions and people who are joining them on their journey.
Rita Haskew serves as the conduit for the group. She noted, “Individuals are joining our group every day. They come to us from across the country. Some are patients while others are part of their support system. The commonality they all have is the impact on their lives from lung cancer. Our hope is that they know that this group is a place to ask questions, seek additional support and share experiences along the way.”
The group’s Facebook page, Second Wind Society, allows those impacted by lung cancer to meet in a private group setting. From requests for prayer about an upcoming scan to questions about traveling while being treated, the group shares experiences and offers support.
One member recently posted, “Wow! I was about to say I can’t believe the outpouring of prayers and thoughts for my family, but then again, I thought, there’s nothing unusual about it. That’s how special this group is. [But] I can’t begin to thank all of you enough for those thoughts and prayers they truly mean a great deal to my wife and myself and my brother and sisters and their spouses.”
Headrick shares that the group came out of a need to provide and expand services to those impacted by a cancer that is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, making up almost 25% of all deaths. Individuals in the U.S. die of lung cancer over breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. Only 2% of eligible patients participate in available screening. With these statistics and facing the mounting numbers of lung cancer cases coming into his own practice, the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based thoracic surgeon developed a program to screen individuals without them having to come into healthcare facilities.
His team found that while individuals living in more rural areas were concerned about their health, they were not willing to come to hospitals or physician offices, especially during the current pandemic. With so many rural hospitals closing, options for care were becoming increasingly limited. The amount of time taken to complete paperwork and waiting times also added into their concerns and they simply chose to put their health on hold.
Dr. Headrick gathered a team of engineers, healthcare professionals, and industry leaders to develop a mobile unit that could go into communities to provide screenings. Working together, they determined that while individuals might not feel comfortable in more formal settings, they would come out to favorite quick serve restaurants in their communities if they knew they could be quickly and easily screened.
The mobile screening unit consists of a Siemens 64 slice CT scanner and separate waiting area. The staff consists of a driver/ registrar, radiology technician, and advanced practice provider. Individuals enter the unit to complete their paperwork and are then screened. Using the results from the LDCT (Low Dose Computed Tomography) imaging, early lung cancer is easily detected.
Today, the unit travels throughout southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia with a team of professionals to serve patients. In the midst of the pandemic, they found that the mobile unit has another very valuable use that could be put into play by being deployed to provide vaccine throughout these same rural counties.
Dr. Headrick explains, “We’ve been able to develop best practices around our lung program that can be applied anywhere in the country. Over the last 18 months of operations, we have the data to show this model not only works, but works well.” He added that the program is well-positioned for replication across the country and that his team is available to support growing efforts.
Headrick shared that the combination of having screening readily available and providing support after the diagnosis is incredibly helpful to patients and their caregivers. “At its earliest stages, lung cancer has no symptoms. We know that if we can get screens done early, we can cure lung cancer. The model we’ve built combining accessibility to technology on the front end to emotional and logistical support after the diagnosis saves lives.”
To receive additional information or to book Dr. Headrick for speaking engagements, contact Robin@Derryberrypr.com or call: 423.755.7588. To learn more about Dr. Headrick visit, @Dr.RobHeadrick on Facebook or the Second Wind Society.
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