Patient and family services

At Mercy Hospital we offer several cancer patient and family services to address all your questions and concerns.

Our services include:

The social workers at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute are an integrated part of the medical team. These professionals provide resources and services to patients and families experiencing a cancer diagnosis. Learn more about our oncology social workers.
Acupuncture is part of an ancient medical system called Traditional Chinese Medicine. An acupuncturist, a person who has special training, gently inserts fine, sterile acupuncture needles through your skin to help promote health and treat illness or pain. Acupuncture is a Penny George Institute for Health and Healing service offered at some Virginia Piper Cancer Institute locations. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 763-236-0808.  

Call the Cancer Resource Center at 763-236-6060. We're generally open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Due to volunteer staff availability, it is best to call ahead.

The Cancer Resource Center of Mercy Hospital provides information and support to individuals, family members and providers who are concerned about cancer. This is a place to gain knowledge and to experience support.

The Cancer Resource Center features a healing environment with soft lighting, natural colors, water elements and comfortable seating. Open to everyone who needs a moment of peace, the Cancer Resource Center is staffed by caring, compassionate volunteers who are willing to talk and share cancer resources.

We offer events and free services to all persons touched by cancer. Services and events are free or at minimal cost, thanks to our generous volunteers, community members and supporters. If you have questions, would like to volunteer your time or services, or make a financial contribution, please call us at 763-236-6060.

Purpose: The Cancer Resource Center offers visitors opportunities to regain control, self-esteem and hope for the future through the power of information and the warmth of human compassion and support.

Staff: The Cancer Resource Center is staffed by volunteers, many of them cancer survivors, who create a warm, caring atmosphere. An advisory council of physicians, nurses, cancer survivors, social workers and community representatives review overall direction, philosophy and acquisitions for the center.

Services: Programs at the Cancer Resource Center are offered free of charge or at a minimal cost.

Information/resources – cancer related information and resources available on a variety of topics and local services:

  • Books
  • Audiotapes/CDs
  • Brochures
  • Videotapes
  • Internet resources
  • Inspiration/coping
  • Free wigs/scarves/protheses
  • Integrated therapy
  • Transportation
  • Financial
  • Community resources

Appointments – one-on-one appointments with area professionals to discuss individual cancers or questions regarding cancer care:

  • Counselors – individual family issues
  • Attorneys – legal issues/employment issues
  • Clinicians – medical concerns/treatment
  • Chaplains – spiritual/living wills/loss

Therapies for stress reduction/relaxation – integrated therapy sessions with local volunteer professionals promoting stress reduction and relaxation:

  • Neighbors Caring for Neighbors
  • Massage
  • Healing touch
  • Reflexology
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Qi Gong

Patients are encouraged to participate in our educational programs and support groups, which can help you and your loved ones cope more and create supportive relationships with others facing a similar situation.

You'll find information about programs, support groups and classes in our online events and class listings

If you have further questions or need more information, please ask staff members.

Professional resources are available to address the lifestyle changes, problems and fears facing cancer patients and their loved ones. Referrals can be made to our own chaplains and social workers or to professionals in the community.
Skilled nursing care, home health aides, homemaker services, intravenous care and social services can be provided in the home, contributing to a patient's comfort and independence.
Hospice services provide holistic care to patients facing a limited life expectancy. The emphasis of the program is on comfort while allowing patients to remain in the familiar surroundings and comfort of their own home.
This is a program that offers community businesses the opportunity to support our neighbors with cancer. It expands our bodywork services by referring visitors to community businesses committed to volunteering allotted times to cancer patients. This is a free referral service only and is not offered in the Cancer Resource Center.

Neighbors Caring for Neighbors services are only offered at participating community business locations – no affiliation with Mercy Hospital.

How it works:Practitioners donate appointments to the Neighbors Caring for Neighbors program. The Cancer Resource Center then coordinates and matches you to local participating bodywork businesses. Subject to availability, we will match you with up to three different bodywork businesses, each of whom will offer you up to four sessions to be used within a three month period.
After we have referred you to an open practitioner, it is your responsibility to make these appointments directly with them and to cancel when you are unable to make a scheduled appointment. You will have the opportunity to continue to see these practitioners as a paying client when concluding the allotted, free appointments, but there is no obligation to do so.

Who is eligible?
Visitors are screened through the Cancer Resource Center and are only eligible if they have been diagnosed with cancer (or a new recurring cancer) within the last year.

Are there requirements of the practitioner and visitor?
Yes. Practitioners must apply for the program and are interviewed through the Cancer Resource Center. They may not accept tips, gifts or money for their allotted Cancer Resource Center slots.

Visitors are required to sign a liability release before seeing a program practitioner.

The success of this program relies entirely on the generosity of our local businesses who have volunteered their services.

Contact: Sandy Herrala, Coordinator Oncology Support Services, 763-236-5608.
CaringBridge is a non-profit organization that helps patients in need of support, love and encouragement. CaringBridge provides free, secure personalized Web pages designed to notify family and friends of news and information about loved ones.

Families write journal entries and load pictures, providing updated information for their caring community.  Visitors respond by sending messages of support and encouragement. This two-way communication allows loved ones to remain connected.  Nothing can replace the true presence of family and friends during life-changing events. But sometimes distance, time and finances limit the ability to provide in-person support. CaringBridge allows friends and family to be there for their loved one, even when it is not physically possible.

Creating and using a CaringBridge Web page is simple, requiring only basic computer skills. Anyone can use this service by going to and following the simple directions. To protect your privacy, CaringBridge Web pages are not available through Internet search engines.