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Published on July 13, 2017

Patient Caring Baskets newest addition to Gundersen Boscobel chemotherapy room

Patsy Pippen

Cancer survivor Patsy Pippen of Boscobel

Since 2015, Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics has had a room dedicated to offering chemotherapy to patients in a private, comfortable setting. Over the years, there has been an effort to continually making improvements to that room to increase each patient's level of comfort.

The newest such addition is called a Patient Caring Basket, an idea suggested by cancer survivor Patsy Pippen of Boscobel. Patsy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Since that time, she has experienced four surgeries, many different doctors and countless treatments—including both radiation and chemotherapy. One of Patsy's most intensive treatment protocols required daily treatments for more than six weeks. One of her most tender memories of that particular time in her cancer journey, and all of the time spent in that treatment room was a basket full of various personal items, such as hats and books. Patsy recalls initially seeing the basket and thinking to herself, "I'm never going to need any of that." However, as her journey continued and her trips to the room continued to accumulate, Patsy shared that her opinion began to change. She began to realize the care and compassion that each of those items had been placed with. "Having things there for me touched my heart," she explains. "So, when the time came, I decided I needed to give back."

With her experience and the general idea in mind, Patsy met with Gundersen Boscobel CEO David Hartberg and Eric Swan to discuss her vision. Patsy then worked with Cheryl Place, Med-Surg Manager, on the details and coordination of the project.  The Gundersen Boscobel Partners, an organization Patsy has been a part of for many years also became involved and is helping support the rollout of the program. Patsy stresses that the project truly was a team effort.

Other initiatives that make the Gundersen Boscobel Chemotherapy room more welcoming include picture frames where drawings from Boscobel elementary students are rotated each week so patients always have a new picture to look at and "Encouragement Bags," with handwritten notes of reassurance from local students. "The artwork and handwritten notes from the Boscobel Elementary students have been very encouraging for our cancer patients. The Patient Caring Basket will be a great addition to offering an encouraging and supportive treatment process," shared Eric Swan, Gundersen Boscobel Director of Community Relations.

Patsy takes great pleasure in seeing this very personal project come to fruition. "As I continue on my journey, I'm so happy to know that someone else will feel the care that I once needed."

Chemotherapy services at Gundersen Boscobel are available for patients who would like to complete their course of treatment close to home, whether or not they are a Gundersen patient. If you would like more information about the Gundersen Boscobel chemotherapy services, please contact Cheryl Place at (608) 375-6332.

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