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Patient and Family Services at Suburban Hospital

The effective diagnosis, treatment and management of cancer is never a simple process. The best cancer treatment plans go beyond traditional clinical care, coordinating numerous complementary and supportive services.

In addition to offering state-of-the-art care, Suburban Hospital's cancer program is dedicated to providing compassionate support for patients and their families at all points along the journey with this challenging disease. Some of the services include navigation, counseling, support groups, integrative medicine and other educational programs, health screenings and a speaker service.

  • Suburban Hospital’s Cancer Program is committed to providing resources that address not only the physical but also the psychological effects of a cancer diagnosis. Masters-level clinical social workers with expertise in oncology provide counseling, facilitate cancer support groups and coordinate other psychoeducational programs. Individual and family counseling are available to both hospitalized cancer patients and outpatients from the time of diagnosis through treatment and during the transition to life after treatment; these counseling services are provided free of charge. The support groups and psychoeducational programs are open to both Suburban Hospital patients and the community.

    For information or to schedule an appointment, please call Susan Jacobstein, LCSW-C at 301-896-6837.

    Facing forward: A post-treatment breast cancer support group

    This six-week support group is designed to address the unique feelings and concerns that survivors face upon completion of cancer treatment. The group is facilitated by an oncology social worker. Open to breast cancer patients who have completed treatment within the past year. Registration is required. 

    Prostate cancer patient/family support group

    For patients, survivors and family members. Guest speakers alternate with informal discussions among participants. Preregistration is not required. Meets the third Monday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Suburban Hospital, Conference rooms 6 and 7 (lower level). 

    Head and Neck cancer patient/family support group

    This monthly support group provides an opportunity for patients and their families/significant others to share information and gain support during their treatment and recovery. The group meets the third Tuesday of each month at the Johns Hopkins Health Care and Surgery Center. Guest speakers will give brief presentations at each meeting on topics of interest to group members. Drop-ins are welcome. 

  • Suburban Hospital Cancer program offers free screenings throughout the year. Early detection is vital to improving treatment options and outcomes. For information about upcoming screenings, call 301-896-3939.
  • A diagnosis of cancer brings many challenges for patients and loved ones. It is common to feel overwhelmed by the amount of new information, the number of decisions to be made concerning treatment and care and the uncertainty about which steps to take next or where to go for assistance.

    The Suburban Hospital Cancer Care's complimentary Patient Navigator service can help you and your family obtain the information, knowledge, support and guidance needed to manage a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

    What Is the Patient Navigator Program?

    Suburban's Patient Navigator Program is designed to provide support to patients and their families. With the help of an experienced and professionally trained Oncology Nurse Navigator, patients can deal more easily with the many questions, decisions and challenges that accompany a cancer diagnosis.

    What Types of Services Are Provided?

    • Education and research related to diagnosis and/or treatment options, including clinical trials
    • Translating medical terminology
    • Communicating with physicians and other members of the health care team
    • Obtaining referrals to community services for support groups, transportation, financial assistance and other concerns
    • Arranging palliative care, hospice and home health care services
    • Listening, caring and helping in a time of need

    Who Are the Patient Navigators?

    Jamie Borns, RN, BSN, CN-BN works with patients diagnosed with breast cancer. Jamie has more than 30 years of nursing experience and is dedicated to advancing the role of the Oncology Nurse Navigator. She is passionate about providing the highest quality of care and support to cancer patients. Jamie is available by phone at 301-896-6798 or by email at

    Barbara Doherty, RN, BSN, CCM, CHC, PAHM, works with all cancer patients, even though her primary focus and experience is in the field of colorectal cancer. Barbara is a certified case manager, certified health coach and a professional in the Academy of Healthcare Management with more than 30 years of experience in the health care arena. Barbara believes all patients deserve access to good, quality care. Utilizing her broad range of experience, she devotes her time helping patients find the services and resources they need during their course of treatment. You can reach Barbara by phone at 301-896-6782 or by email at

    How Do I Meet with a Patient Navigator?

    Patient Navigator services are available by phone or in person at the Johns Hopkins Health Care and Surgery Center on Rockledge Drive in Bethesda. For an appointment, call 301-896-6782.

  • Some individuals — due to family history or factors such as abnormal biopsy results — may be at an increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer. Here are several risk factors to consider. Please note: These risk factors are only guidelines. Your individual risk may depend on other factors.

    • Personal or family history of breast cancer diagnosed before age 50
    • Personal or family history of ovarian cancer diagnosed at any age
    • Diagnosis of breast and ovarian cancer in the same woman
    • Personal or family history of male breast cancer
    • Breast and/or ovarian cancer in multiple generations
    • Membership in a population known to carry a founder mutation (such as the Ashkenazi Jewish population)
    • Personal history of an abnormal breast biopsy (atypical hyperplasia or lobular neoplasia, for example)

    If you have one or more of these factors, you may wish to make an appointment for a cancer risk assessment. Suburban Hospital’s Risk Assessment team is available to answer questions and provide assistance. For more information, call Judy Macon at 301-896-2445.

  • Adequate nutrition is a concern for many cancer patients. Our oncology dietitian is available to meet with you one on one to help you learn to eat better and feel more comfortable throughout your cancer treatment. The oncology dietitian is available for the following:

    • Eating through cancer treatments
    • Assuring diet adequacy and weight maintenance
    • Dietary supplement evaluation
    • What to eat after cancer therapy
    • Other food related issues that might be of concern

    Any Suburban cancer patient — inpatient or outpatient — may meet with our registered dietitian. To consult with the dietitian at any stage of your treatment, ask your nurse in the radiation oncology, infusion or oncology inpatient department to refer you to the program.

  • Suburban Hospital has a partnership with National Rehabilitation Hospital, which provides rehabilitation services for those coping with the effects of cancer surgery, including lymphedema.
  • Need a speaker or a health fair representative? Suburban Hospital can arrange for a health care professional to speak to your business or organization free of charge. We can also assist you with community health fairs. For more information, call 301-896-3939.
  • In an effort to stop skin cancer before it strikes, the Suburban Hospital Cancer Care program partners with the Sidney J. Malawer Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for melanoma awareness, prevention and screening. These outreach programs are designed to promote sun safety and early detection to Montgomery County residents of all ages. They include:

    • Block It Out, a sun safety program taught in Montgomery County public and private schools
    • Prom Promise, a program to educate high school students about the risks of using tanning booths
    • Pediatric kits to educate pediatricians and their patients about childhood sun safety
    • Educational materials in the community
    • Lectures for physicians on melanoma skin cancer
    • A golf tournament and dinner to raise funds for educational programs

    Skin Screenings

    In conjunction with the Sidney J. Malawer Memorial Foundation and Suburban Hospital Cancer Care, certified dermatologists offer free skin screenings in May and in November by appointment. 

    View a calendar of upcoming skin screening sessions at the Johns Hopkins Health Care and Surgery Center.

  • Seminars and workshops on a variety of topics from treatment to survivorship are offered throughout the year. For information call Susan Jacobstein, LCSW-C at 301-896-2193.
  • The patient liaison provides support and coordination of services for women having mammograms and breast biopsies at GCM  Suburban Imaging. For information call Marie Ronick at 301-896-6877.
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