The After Cancer Treatment Survivorship (ACTS) program at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC receives the Recognition Award for Collaboration from The Stewart Initiative for Childhood Cancer Survivors, a program of The Children’s Cancer Cause.
CHOC will be recognized as one of four winners in the Survivorship Champion’s Prize Program for 2021. These awards were established by The Children’s Cancer Cause and The Stewart Initiative for Childhood Cancer Survivors in 2020 and are presented annually to a program or institution making significant advances in programs and services to provide life-long health maintenance for survivors of pediatric cancers.
The ACTS program, led by Medical Director Dr. Lilibeth Torno, consists of a multidisciplinary team of experts including Drs. Carol Lin and Chenue Abongwa, pediatric oncologists; Dr. Grace Mucci, neuropsychologist; Dr. Tiffany Torigoe-Lai, clinical psychologist; Christine Yun, pediatric nurse practitioner; Abby Mecham, social worker; Jennifer Kim, registered dietician; and researchers Lissamarie Donjuan, Joel Green and Kevin Bostwick; is committed to providing long-term care to cancer survivors as they return to life after their diagnosis.
Dr. Torno says, “We work closely with our survivors so that they can be knowledgeable and proactive health care consumers that can advocate for themselves.”
The team also works closely with numerous departments at CHOC to provide comprehensive follow-up visits to evaluate health concerns for pediatric cancer survivors. The effects of cancer and its treatment continues throughout the lifespan of survivors and while societal reintegration is achievable for most, cancer survivors may experience many long-term health effects of treatment, fertility issues, education and employment rights. CHOC specialists work with families to provide clinical care, education and overall wellness plans.
The ACTS program is being recognized for collaboration, rightly so.
“Thank you to the Children’s Cancer Cause and Stewart Initiative for Childhood Cancer Survivors for their generosity and for this distinct recognition. This award is for the whole team. Every person contributes their best to make the ACTS program run successfully. I am humbled to represent such a great group,” says Dr. Torno.
In addition to CHOC’s program, Dr. Torno and her team support other endeavors like founding and leading the Southern California Pediatric and Adolescent Cancer Survivorship Consortium — a research and clinical collaborative effort to provide evidence-based care, health equity and long-term wellness to survivors. Together, the consortium supports nearly 5,000 young cancer survivors and their families across Southern California.
The ACTS team also supports the University of California Childhood Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Consortium, which is a collaborative cancer consortium comprised by member institutions of the UC system.
“Realizing the multi-cultural ethnicities that comprise our population, community inclusion has become the ACTS team’s deeply rooted commitment and approach to the various challenges that cancer survivors face. An important part of cancer survivorship is resilience and support for one another,” says Dr. Torno.
Leveraging community support and integration of their important input has led to the development of a community advisory board to further understand and support the needs of cancer survivors.
Through these programs, the team works to lessen the long-term effects of the disease and treatment for cancer survivors. Dr. Torno hopes that as physicians learn more about how cancer treatment can negatively affect survivors throughout their lifetime, they can develop more targeted and less invasive types of therapy.
Learn more about CHOC’s After Cancer Treatment Survivorship program