Nancy Hutchison, MD, medical director for cancer rehabilitation, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute: Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute is a comprehensive rehabilitation facility that includes two in-patient rehabilitation units for people recovering from major comprehensive severe disabling illness. We have a unique partnership between Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute and Virginia Piper Cancer Institute. Now that people have so many good results from their cancer treatment in terms of these treatments being effective for the cancer itself, some of the treatments do have side effects that are associated with function. So the major areas that seem to be problems for some cancer survivors are areas like fatigue, weakness, neuropathy, balance problems, sometimes thinking and memory problems, speech or swallow problems, swelling; and all these areas can be addressed through cancer rehabilitation. It's important that patients who have been treated for cancer though are treated by specialty therapists and specialty physiatrists in cancer rehabilitation because cancer rehabilitation is designed to address the specific areas of function that are affected by cancer treatment. We have seen excellent results from this program, mainly in the area of getting people in earlier so that we can get involved in treating them earlier before they have a lot of decline. And that's very key in cancer rehabilitation. For example a person might be referred into my clinic whose had chemotherapy and might have a balance problem because they've had a specific chemotherapy that effects their nerves, but they're also very weak and they haven't been able to be active for a while and I'm able to prescribe for them a special program of therapists who can address these specific needs. But not only that, we're able to hand them off to a wellness system if you will where they can continue their own recovery on their own. And that's really important with cancer rehabilitation.The way that patients access cancer rehabilitation through our program is actually through a central scheduling area that has been created collaboratively with Virginia Piper and Courage Kenny. That STAR scheduling, it stands for Survivorship, Training and Rehabilitation. It allows people access through one central location without having to know exactly what type of therapy to call or who to call. We recognize that people are receiving their cancer treatment in their own locations and they consider that their oncology home. So our program specifically is designed to place specialty teams around the Allina system of care and our Courage Kenny facilities and all of our Allina Health hospitals and many of our Courage Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy locations so that people have access to these services.
Before you begin cancer treatment, rehabilitation can help you build strength and endurance.
While you are undergoing treatment, it can help you maintain physical well-being and reduce discomfort.
After treatment, it can help you regain function and strength.
At Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, our STAR Program® certified cancer rehabilitation care addresses your unique needs at each stage of your treatment and survivorship. These may include lymphedema, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, joint stiffness, weakness, cognitive problems, balance problems, and issues with communication, swallowing or eating.
STAR Program® certified sites address the unique health and quality-of-life issues of cancer survivors who are undergoing treatment or living with the side effects of cancer treatment. Read Marlene's story.
Managing Lymphedema Associated with Head & Neck Cancer (Conquer Magazine - authored by Nancy Hutchison, MD)
Life after breast cancer: Get stronger with exercise (Healthy Set Go)
KARE 11: Cancer patients enter 'prehab'
Twin Cities Public Television: Late in life: Cancer in between
Star Tribune: After chemo it's not time to take it easy - aerobics and a 5K
Nancy Hutchison, MD, medical director of cancer rehabilitation at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute and the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, explains how rehabilitation makes a difference in patients' lives.
Minnesota Physician: Cancer rehabilitation and survivorship
Minnesota Health Care News: Q&A
We work closely with the Courage Kenny Research Center to conduct cancer rehabilitation research. These ground-breaking efforts will enhance the lives of persons served both inside and outside of Allina Health for years to come.
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Karl J. Sandin, MD, MPH, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Call a location to make an appointment or to ask about cancer rehabilitation services at that site.
612-863-21231-866-223-0149 (If you are outside the metro area.)
Buffalo Hospital 763-684-3888
New Ulm Medical Center 507-217-5173
Owatonna Hospital 507-977-2150
River Falls Area Hospital (Wisconsin) 715-307-6050
Before your first appointment, we may ask you to complete one of these forms:
Cancer rehabilitation and lymphedema
Edema or lymphedema (non-cancer)
The information you share will help us address your unique needs.