Support

Contact Erin Perejda, LCSW at (970) 569-7606 or erin.perejda@vailhealth.org or Kristin Grems, LPC at (970) 569-7612 or email kristin.grems@vailhealth.org for information on cancer support groups, classes and events.

At Shaw Cancer Center, patients are not alone on their journey. Our Survivorship Program offers support services to address the issues of cancer treatment to help patients, families, and loved ones understand and better cope with the challenges of the disease.

Shaw Cancer Center offers support

Shaw sponsors a number of cancer support groups to help patients:
  • General Support Group  
  • Advanced Cancer Support Group
  • Summit Cancer Support Group 
  • Boys of Shaw
Monthly Support Group – Jack’s Place | Jack's Place - 332 Beard Creek Road, Edwards, CO 81632
For questions contact Erin Perejda, LCSW at 970-569-7606 or erin.perejda@vailhealth.org 
The group is intended to provide emotional support to patients receiving active treatment for their cancer diagnosis. The goal of this group is to foster a community of caring and support surrounding issues that are of importance and relevance to the patient’s needs and experiences. At times, the use of hands-on projects and themed topics may be utilized to guide and facilitate further discussion surrounding topics of identified significance.  

Advanced Cancer Support Group - Jack's Place | Jack's Place - 332 Beard Creek Road, Edwards, CO 81632
RSVP to Erin Perejda, LCSW at 970-569-7606 or erin.perejda@vailhealth.org 
This support group is for those who have been diagnosed with advanced cancer (stage IV, recurrent, and/or terminal) to come together to offer support and discussion as it relates to living with advanced cancer. Spouses and loved ones are invited to attend. A light lunch will be provided.  
 
Summit County Support Group | Shaw Cancer Center -  323 West Main St, Frisco, CO 80443
For questions contact Kristin Grems, LPC at 970-569-7612 or kristin.grems@vailhealth.org 
Members of the community at large, including both patients and caregivers, are invited to attend. Patients and their loved ones gather together to share experiences with the goal of enhancing their network of support to cope with a cancer diagnosis and its implications.  
While everyone’s experience with cancer is different, feelings of anxiety and isolation are common. Talking to someone who has “been there” can be comforting. Shaw Cancer Center’s Peer Connection Program offers people with a new diagnosis of cancer the opportunity to speak with a survivor who has gone through a similar experience. Efforts are made to match patients with a peer according to diagnosis, stage, age, gender or other preference. If a local match cannot be made, information regarding national organizations that provide peer support services will be provided.
Our psychosocial support team includes a Master’s level licensed clinical social worker and a Master’s level licensed professional counselor. They specialize in helping people whose lives have been impacted by cancer. This is a free service for all Shaw patients and survivors.

To speak with a social worker or counselor:
Erin Perejda,  LCSW (970) 569-7606 or erin.perejda@vailhealth.org
Kristi Grems, LPC, (970) 569-7612 or kristin.grems@vailhealth.org

How can an oncology social worker or counselor help?
  • Access information to understand your diagnosis and treatments.
  • Cope with your cancer diagnosis.
  • Consider decisions about treatment options as you think about other factors in your life, including work, family, and personal goals and responsibilities.
  • Understand social security and disability benefits.
  • Obtain information and apply for other programs and services that can help.

Shaw's social worker and counselor offers:
  • Counseling for patients and their family members.
  • Various support groups and educational programs.
  • Information and referral to community resources for assistance with financial concerns, transportation issues, lodging during treatment, community support groups, and more.
  • Information and referral to cancer-related resources and service organizations.
  • Workplace and school education and consultation.

Our social worker and counselor can provide education and guidance on:
  • Effectively communicating with your treatment team members.
  • Talking with your children, family, friends, and co-workers about your illness.
  • Coping with your emotions, such as sadness, anger, grief, worry, and fear.
  • Reducing stress and using relaxation skills.
  • How cancer affects sex, intimacy, fertility, and feeling good about your body.
  • Living with cancer: issues commonly experienced and resources to help you long-term.
  • Planning for your care with the use of advance directives.
  • Life as a cancer survivor.
Pastoral services are available for patients and their families 24 hours/day, seven days/week, extending spiritual care to everyone who requests it, regardless of their faith orientation. The following services can be provided by our hospital chaplain or volunteer chaplains:
  • When you need to speak with someone about spiritual or emotional concerns.
  • When you feel the need for prayer or would like to receive a blessing or the sacraments.
  • When you need help finding or contacting spiritual resources in the community, our chaplains are able to reach out to your faith community.
  • When there is a new diagnosis or a recurrence, especially of a serious or life-limiting disease.
  • Before surgery or other procedure that might create anxiety or fear.
  • To be with family and friends during difficult times or if there is family conflict.
  • To struggle together with unanswerable questions like, "Why is this happening to me?" or "Where is God?"
  • When a patient is facing death or to help with funeral arrangements.
  • When a staff member needs support.
  • Religious rites and rituals as requested by patients, families and staff and as appropriate to the hospital environment. 
 
To reach a chaplain:
  • Ask your attending nurse to contact Chaplain Services.
  • Dial the operator at "0" on any Shaw phone.