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Nueva Vida Services

As the only organization of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region, we thrive to improve the health outcomes and enhance the quality of life of medically underserved Latina families, often in poverty, who face their illness far from family and friends. Nueva Vida is a regional organization with national recognition.

Families, helped by our navigators, receive referrals to specialists for screening. We search our extensive network of partnerships with health providers and institutions to find the right services and referrals for each client. Most services we refer clients to are low or no cost. After an interview, the staff is dedicated to finding the right match for the individual needs of every woman. These services include:

Nueva Vida hopes Latina families will never have to be alone during diagnosis, treatment and cancer recovery. Latino families diagnosed with cancer are not alone, and are always welcome at Nueva Vida. Navigators provide the facts to answer questions and concerns about this part of cancer care. These navigators offer the necessary information to make informed decisions about treatment and recovery.
These services include

Community outreach is an important of Nueva Vida’s work. We offer a range of activities from teaching practical life skills to hosting unique and innovative workshops covering a variety of topics related to cancer awareness and survivorship.

Our outreach workshops are held at churches, medical centers, government agencies and community centers. Our specialists also visit the Latino community in beauty salons, grocery stores, and supermarkets. In addition to these many workshops and visits, Nueva Vida is also present in a large number of health fairs and festivals, in VA, MD, and DC. Some of the available workshops are:

  • Awareness and Educational workshops for breast and cervical cancer
  • Nutrition workshops and programs
  • Self-Image improvement workshops (Look Good Feel Better)
  • Guided “The City is Mine” transportation workshops for clients in DC, MD and VA
  • Practical workshops for cancer survivors such as: What to Expect During and After chemotherapy;
  • Options and Realities of Breast Surgery and Reconstruction; and Physical changes during and after treatment

Resource Center
Resources are available at Nueva Vida in both English and Spanish. Materials such as magazines, pamphlets and videos offer guidance through the cancer process. The center is open all year and relatives and children are welcome to visit the resource center, which also provides toys and videos for children while families are participating in activities.

 The health system has many confusing options and paths for cancer care. For those Latina families who do not speak English, these options are often overwhelming. Nueva Vida helps Latina families with cancer to interact with the health system and obtain lifesaving services and treatments. This support is offered through a navigation service model in Spanish by one of our bilingual bicultural staff or trained professionals at any stage in the cancer continuum.

Families are taught to communicate with their health care providers and are referred to public and private agencies along with professionals who can provide service to often uninsured clients. Navigation is offered to all families for early detection, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, survivorship and end of life.

Nueva Vida provides many different support groups that focus on the mental health of Latina families at various stages of cancer treatment and survivorship. All groups are facilitated by bilingual and bicultural therapists. For all current program meeting locations and times, please click here to see our Latest Calendar.

General Support
General Support group brings together families in different stages of cancer, and their family members. Families discuss different stages after diagnosis, focused on issues such as nutrition, family, sexuality, spirituality and body image after surgery. After, families participate in a stress reduction session using techniques such as deep relaxation, visualization, breathing to target emotions caused by the cancer experience. This group meets on the first Saturday of each month.

Families in Treatment Groups
These groups offer treatment to families diagnosed and treated for breast cancer or gynecologic cancers. Focusing on such topics as the effects of surgery and treatment, fear, self-image, sexuality, the effects of diagnosis on relationships and family, and changes in lifestyle, these groups tackle the many emotional obstacles

Caring for Caregivers
Cancer patients are not the only ones affected by their diagnosis. Caring for Caregivers workshop is open to relatives (spouses, partners and children) of families with any type of cancer. This workshop is designed to give caregivers, family members and close friends of the survivor essential techniques to provide the important support in the cancer process.

Individual Counseling
Nueva Vida is devoted to offering the right support for each woman. Individual counseling offers professional, one-on-one patient care – to families with advanced disease or those who are facing a period of crisis related to the diagnosis of cancer.

An important part of determining policy decisions and influencing lawmakers about issues affecting the Latina cancer community is community-based health research. In partnership with academic institutions or research centers, we participate in the creation and implementation of relevant health studies from which findings can be translated into practice for the benefit of our community. Our experience has helped us gain credibility as a source for research, planning, evaluation and development within the scientific community.

Data Collection
We collect demographic, clinical and psychosocial information that can be used to initiate programs responsive to the needs of the Latino population.

Access to current studies
As we strive to help Latina families receive fair and equitable treatment, we provide access to clinical trials through referrals, and access to Nueva Vida studies in behavioral health. We also serve as a guide for families deciding on their healthcare.

Past studies
Latina Breast Cancer Survivors’ Lived Experiences: Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond Partnership: Lydia Buki, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18426289

Latina a Latina: Developing a breast cancer decision support intervention. Partnership: Sheppard, V. B, Figueiredo, M., Cañar, J., Goodman, M., Caicedo L., Kaufman, A., Norling, G., Mandelblatt, J., Latin American Cancer Research Coalition, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17628037

Realities of Culture: Breast Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life among immigrant Latina families.
Partnership: M. Lopez-Class, M. Perret-Gentil, B Kresling, J.Mandelblatt, K.D. Graves. Latin American Cancer Research Coalition, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Publications
Buki, L., Hinestrosa M.C. (2008) Latina Breast Cancer Survivors’ Lived Experiences: Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond. Journal of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

Sheppard, V. B, Figueiredo, M., Cañar, J., Goodman, M., Caicedo L., Kaufman, A., Norling, G., Mandelblatt, J. (2008). Latina a Latina: Developing a breast cancer decision support intervention. Psycho-oncology, 17 (4), 383-391.

M. Lopez-Class, M. Perret-Gentil, B Kresling, L.Caicedo, J.s.Mandelblatt, K.D. Graves. Realities of Culture: Breast Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life among immigrant Latina families. (In preparation)

Awareness and Educational workshops for breast and cervical cancer Nutrition workshops and programs Self-Image improvement workshops (Look Good Feel Better) Guided “The City is Mine” transportation workshops for clients in DC, MD and VA Practical workshops for cancer survivors such as: What to Expect During and After chemotherapy; Options and Realities of Breast Surgery and Reconstruction; and Physical changes during and after Treatment.

Nueva Vida’s Programs

Advocacy

Helping to raise awareness about issues affecting Latina families with cancer, Nueva Vida voices the experiences of Latina families to agencies and institutions that determine policy, and research priorities affecting families diagnosed with cancer. Throughout the year, Nueva Vida provides many opportunities for the Latino community to attend conferences and various other discussion groups. Nueva Vida is proud to be a part of the Breast Cancer Deadline 2020.

Nueva Vida Resource Center

Resources are available at Nueva Vida in both English and Spanish. Materials such as magazines, pamphlets and videos offer guidance through the cancer process. The center is open all year and relatives and children are welcome to visit the resource center, which also provides toys and videos for children while families are participating in activities.

Center for Training Services

This training is offered to breast cancer survivors who have completed at least one year of their initial treatment. These individuals should possess listening, support, leadership skills; as well as acknowledge their commitment to the organization and the responsibilities as a peer counselor. As such, an interview process is required to join the program. For an interview, contact our Survivorship Program Manager