Support & Resources

At Hoag, we offer a variety of support services led by a caring clinical and social work team.

Head & Neck Cancer Clinical Nurse Navigator – Rhonda Hjelm, M.S.N., R.N., O.C.N.

Clinical Nurse Navigators are a unique asset at Hoag. As a Clinical Nurse Navigator for Hoag’s Head & Neck Cancer Program, Rhonda serves as a guide for patients, answering questions, providing education, identifying social resources to overcome any barriers to care and providing support through each phase of treatment and recovery.

As the Head & Neck Cancer Clinical Nurse Navigator, Rhonda provides:

  • Emotional support and guidance for the newly diagnosed Head and Neck cancer patient and their family
  • Education for patients and family members about Head and Neck cancers
  • Information about community resources and Hoag support services
  • Help in coordinating the patient’s multidisciplinary care plan
  • Assistance in navigating the healthcare system during and after treatment

Cancer Support Services

Cancer Support Services offers a variety of classes to support and educate patients during and after cancer. These classes and workshops are all free of charge:

  • Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Support Group is an educational and supportive group for patients. Family and friends are also encouraged to attend. The group meets the second Monday of each month, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Patty & George Hoag Cancer Center, Conference Room A.
  • One-On-One Counseling with an oncology social worker
  • Fitter Image Exercise Programs, including yoga, pilates and energizing cardio and toning
  • Workshops for Well-Being, including free flow writing, meditation, reiki and creative art classes

Other Support Programs/Teams include:

  • Speech Language Pathologist – Unique to Hoag’s Head & Neck Cancer Program are Speech Language Pathologists who provide a comprehensive approach to evaluate and treat speech, voice and swallowing disorders.
  • CARES Program - For patients experiencing high pain or symptom burden during treatment, the Hoag CARES Team can help. Board-certified Palliative Care physicians, nurses and social workers are available to help manage physical and emotional symptoms alongside your cancer care team.
  • Oncology Dietitians - Hoag Family Cancer Institute provides two dedicated Registered Dietitians who are available to advise patients on nutrition and provide resources for a healthier diet before, during and after cancer treatment.
  • Hereditary Cancer Program - Hoag offers both genetic counseling and genetic testing for individuals concerned about hereditary cancer.
  • Pastoral Care - provides spiritual support & counseling services to patients, families, and the community.