This week on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio’s Around Atlanta Edition, Karen Burpo, development and community outreach coordinator with TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, is our guest. Karen tells us a little about the history of TurningPoint and explains the importance of having rehabilitation resources like this available for cancer patients and survivors. Karen is a native Texan, a 10-year survivor of breast cancer, and she knows firsthand how important this specialized type of rehabilitation can be for those facing breast cancer.
TurningPoint is a non-profit, community-based clinic that provides specialized rehabilitation for women with breast cancer. The rehabilitation methods involve massage therapy, physical therapy, counseling, nutrition, exercise consultation and more. The organization also conducts community and patient education seminars and has been instrumental in advocating on a national and local level for specialized rehabilitation to be included in breast cancer care.
When speaking of the need for community and patient education, Karen says, “TurningPoint was founded by a physical therapist that was diagnosed at age 42, a young mother with breast cancer. She found such a lack of information for the onslaught of side effects that she experienced, so what we are trying to do is help people understand that there is help for many of the side effects that people experience.”
Many women experience not only physical repercussions of breast cancer treatment, but also emotional issues dealing with treatment, recovery and re-entry into everyday life. For many, specialized rehabilitation is not an option; in fact, a 2012 Cure Magazine Survey suggests that less than 20 percent of cancer patients are referred to specialized rehabilitation therapy. This may be because of a lack of knowledge that this type of service exists as a resource to patients.
Because the need for education goes beyond just the commonly known effects of breast cancer treatment, it is important for people to know that there is help and support available to get them through difficult periods during treatment. TurningPoint specifically treats breast cancer patients and survivors and utilizes specialized methods and staff that have been especially trained in this specific area. Patients are educated through monthly lunch and learn events and other educational opportunities on topics that might be of interest to them. The organization also provides education for the community at large. Representatives from TurningPoint also regularly speak at community health fairs and other activities in the area to spread awareness of the organization to the public.
TurningPoint works with the medical community here in Atlanta and new patients receive referrals to the organization from their doctors. Once a patient is referred to TurningPoint, they usually begin with physical therapy and are then eligible for all of the services offered through TurningPoint. For those patients who do not have insurance coverage, the organization has a financial assistance program that more than 40 percent of its patients participate in. This program eliminates the financial barrier that can prevent care for many and often removes all or part of the patient financial responsibility for care at Turning Point.
Because TuringPoint is a non-profit organization, it relies on fundraisers to provide operating costs. The organization’s next upcoming fundraiser is the “Tourney for TurningPoint,” a charity golf tournament that will be held on Aug. 30 and 31 at Dunwoody Country Club. This is the fourth year of the tournament, and this year’s event will begin with a dinner and auction on Sunday evening followed by the golf tournament on Monday. The presenting sponsor is Ashford Advisors and additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Those interested in being an individual player, becoming a team sponsor or an individual sponsor can visit www.TurningPoint.org and click the upcoming events tab or call 770-360-9271.
To learn more about the services offered by TurningPoint, listen to the full podcast above.
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