Vision for the Future: Cancer Support Community Central NJ Embarks on an Exciting New Era

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Cancer Support Community Central NJ (CSCCNJ) in Bedminster, NJ has launched a $2 million Campaign for the Future to meet the unique needs of the thousands of New Jersey residents impacted directly or indirectly by a cancer diagnosis, and expand its programs and services that are always offered free of charge.

Amy Sutton, CEO, Dan Loughlin, Campaign Co-Chair, and the Lipschutz family

“The Campaign for the Future is about more than just a new building on our campus. It’s reaching people where they are,” says Amy Sutton, CEO of CSCCNJ.

Cancer Support Community Central NJ (CSCCNJ) in Bedminster, NJ has launched a $2 million Campaign for the Future to meet the unique needs of the thousands of New Jersey residents impacted directly or indirectly by a cancer diagnosis, and expand its programs and services that are always offered free of charge.

The centerpiece of the campaign will be the creation of the state-of-the-art Mark Lipschutz Nutrition and Family Center on CSCCNJ’s campus, which will house a demonstration kitchen and a dedicated children’s space, Stepping Stone Clubhouse, as well as technology to broadcast the organization’s evidence-based programs to those who are unable to participate at the Bedminster site. Another component of the campaign will support CSCCNJ’s Support4Families initiative that benefits children directly or indirectly impacted by cancer and their families; nutrition programming that combines experiential learning with emotional and social support to aid people in choosing and preparing healthy, cancer fighting foods; and multicultural outreach with both on-site and off-site culturally-appropriate programming to meet the unique needs of individuals and families across different communities, religions, cultures, etc.

“The Campaign for the Future is about more than just a new building on our campus. It’s reaching people where they are,” says Amy Sutton, CEO of CSCCNJ. “We know that to truly embrace our mission, we need to expand our footprint. We also need to continue to offer our programs free of charge, so financial considerations do not get in the way of access at a time of potential economic distress for families who may face job loss, high out-of-pocket medical costs, and other stressors as a result of a cancer diagnosis.”

The initiatives and programming that will result from the campaign will complement and expand CSCCNJ’s traditional offerings which include Individual and Group Support; Education; Health and Wellness programs; Nutrition Education; Decision Support; Resources and Referrals; and Social Connections—all the things cancer patients, loved ones, and caregivers need to overcome the social and emotional burdens of cancer. CSCCNJ has set a goal of doubling, and perhaps even tripling, its reach in the next three years.

Over 53,000 individuals are diagnosed with cancer every year in New Jersey, which does not include the loved ones and caregivers who are indirectly impacted by the disease. Social and emotional needs, if unmet, can potentially lead to a less successful outcome for the patient and dangerous levels of distress for everyone involved, including those who are normally overlooked in the cancer journey, such as children. The needs are especially acute in multicultural communities, where it is sometimes more difficult to access medical care.

“Individuals and families in our communities are suffering due to lack of resources and representation; transportation issues; language and socioeconomic barriers; and stigma,” says Ms. Sutton, “Our goal is to provide culturally humble social and emotional support in trusted sites within schools, places of worship, and other gathering places within these vulnerable communities.”

The Mark Lipschutz Nutrition and Family Center is named in memory of a participant who touched so many people in his daily life and at CSCCNJ. His wife, Rachel and many members of the Lipschutz family are actively involved in both the design of the building and the fundraising efforts. According to Mrs. Lipschutz, “At CSCCNJ Mark found a community that helped him face the daily struggles of cancer. He was excited to support the new building so that the CSCCNJ family would be able to expand and reach many more people in new and exciting ways.”

To comprehensively address the needs of families with children in diverse New Jersey communities, CSCCNJ plans to enhance and increase current Support4Families programming under the guidance of a Licensed Social Worker and Certified Child Life Specialist. These programs will be offered both on-site and off-site, and will include age-appropriate individual and group support; teen programs; special events; conferences; school based training, and more. Stepping Stone Clubhouse will be a dedicated children’s space where social and educational programming will take place.

CSCCNJ is working closely with leaders in the Hispanic/Latino; South Asian; Caribbean/African-American; Veteran; LGBTQ; and other communities to bridge the support gap with programs and services tailored to their communities’ unique situations.

Research indicates that nutrition is a top concern for cancer patients, and many do not have the knowledge and resources to cook healthy meals that aid in their treatment and recovery. Without these resources, cancer patients can suffer physical side effects such as malnutrition, as well as emotional effects of diagnosis and treatment. CSCCNJ’s approach offers evidence-based nutrition education, social and emotional support, and experiential learning to lead to the best outcomes.

To learn more about the Campaign for the Future, contact Gina Carro, Chief Development and Marketing Officer at 908-658-5400 x8 or at gcarro@cancersupportcnj.org. For the most up to date information on the campaign, visit cancersupportcnj.org/campaign.

About Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey:
Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey (CSCCNJ) is a registered 501c(3) and an independently licensed affiliate of Cancer Support Community, an international nonprofit organization. As experts in oncology mental health, the organization provides support, education, and hope to all people with cancer and their loved ones, So That No One Faces Cancer Alone®. Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes social and emotional support, CSCCNJ creates a caring community to help individuals live with, through, and beyond cancer. At no cost to patients, family members and caregivers, the organization delivers essential programs and services including individual and group support; educational workshops; hands-on nutrition and healthy cooking education; classes to enhance health and wellness; and social activities for the entire family. For more information please visit their website at cancersupportcnj.org or call (908) 658-5400.

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