This guide is for the cancer patient and his or her family. Coping with the illness often requires seeking out appropriate forms of assistance, whether it's financial help, emotional support, home health care, transportation or even just information. This information and resource guide is intended to provide a listing and explanation of various resources available to cancer patients in the Greater Gardner area.

Oncology Services

In recent years, local hospitals have developed Oncology/Hematology Departments to meet the ever-growing needs of patients with cancer and associated diseases. This development of services allows patients to receive treatments in their local communities without the burden of having to travel great distances.

Physicians on staff who are Board-Certified in Oncology and Hematology provide care and treatment for patients. These physicians are also affiliated with major teaching hospitals. Personalized care is available five days per week in a collaborative effort with our specially trained registered nursing staff.

Chemotherapy, laboratory procedures, diagnostic x-rays and testing, nutritional assessment and counseling and a variety of other services may be coordinated through your personal physician with the hospital's Oncology Department.

For more information, contact the Oncology Department at Heywood Hospital at (978) 630-6457.

Information & Referral

General information pertaining to services and resources for cancer patients and their families may be provided through the Social Services Department. If an individual has a question regarding available services or is in need of assistance with the referral process, he or she should contact Social Service. This service is available to the hospitalized patient and his/her family, the Oncology Clinic patient and staff, as well any individual living in the Greater Gardner area.

Discharge Planning

A professionally trained and licensed social worker is available to meet with a hospitalized cancer patient and his/her family for the purpose of providing information, support and guidance regarding discharge needs. Intervention includes assessment of needs, planning and coordination of needed services following discharge and follow-up. This planning includes a multi-disciplinary approach with an intent to facilitate a smooth transition from Heywood Hospital to the next appropriate setting.

A social worker may assist in the arrangement of follow-up services including visiting nurses, home health aides, homemakers, respite care, Lifeline, adult day health care, adult family care, rehabilitation services or extended care placements. Assistance with there arrangement of needed services at home may also be provided to patients treated in the hospital outpatient departments.

Supportive Counseling

A social worker is available to counsel the patient and his/her family regarding the issues that may arise following the diagnosis of cancer.

The social worker considers the physical, emotional, social and environmental strengths and needs of the patient and will assist with the development of a service plan to meet identified needs.


Assistance with transportation arrangements for medical appointments may be provided by contacting Social Service Department. A listing of volunteer drivers is maintained and periodically updated. In addition, the department maintains a list on programs and agencies available to provide transportation.

Head Scarves and Wigs

Head scarves are available, free of charge, to any individual in the Greater Gardner area who has experienced hair loss due to radiation treatment of chemotherapy. The scarves are available in a wide variety of light-weight and comfortable materials. Contact the Social Services Department directly for additional information.

Cancer Support Groups

Heywood Hospital offers cancer support programs which are open to anyone who wishes to participate. The support groups include the following:

Breast Cancer Support Group

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets the 2nd week of the month, alternating Tuesday and Saturday, at 7:00pm at 250 Smith Street, Gardner, MA. Call Paula D'Entremont at (978) 632-5491 for more information.

Cancer Support Group

The group meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 7:00pm - 8:30pm in the Dining Room at Heywood Hospital. For more information regarding the Cancer Support Group, contact Linda LaRoche, RN in the Special Procedures Department at Heywood Hospital at (978) 630-6457.

Please note: All cancer support group meetings are run by American Cancer Society trained facilitators.

For more information on any of the above support groups, contact the Social Service Department at Heywood Hospital at (978) 630-6166.

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