CARTI’s The Bridge aims to coordinate comprehensive cancer care

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 757 views 

CARTI is offering a plethora of new services through The Bridge, a multi-million dollar facility on its flagship Little Rock campus that provides educational programming, support groups, screenings, financial services, pastoral care, physical therapy and more.

CEO Adam Head said the new campus addition pulls cancer care and the multitude of questions and lifestyle changes under one roof for direction.

“It was really born out of our vision to be able to provide all the other services that patients and families so often want but aren’t often accessible through one avenue. We know that because cancer is a journey, it’s a relationship that we get to have with patients and families over time. We wanted to create one front desk where patients and families could go in and have access to multiple comprehensive support services in one place,” Head said.

Head says that many new patients are overwhelmed with questions about the terminology associated with their cancer, how to navigate a complex health care system, and what they need to do to improve their chances for successful treatment. The Bridge aims to provide answers and solutions to these concerns in a one-stop setting.

The Bridge’s programs aim to reduce individuals’ stress and help them gain a greater sense of control and self-connection, according to CARTI’s description. Along with access to the Patient Assistance Program, current offerings include a breast health support group, a Cancer 101 workshop, “Eating Well with Chef Coby,” financial advocacy, a genetics and risk management workshop, healing arts, a laryngectomy support group, pastoral care, the Patient Mentorship- Help One Person’s Experience (H.O.P.E.), the “Stronger Together” breast cancer and lymphedema support group and yoga.

“[The Bridge] is able to then connect patients with new clinical trials, with support groups of various kinds with your diet that may need to change. So cooking demonstrations, dieticians, physical therapy, social work services, I mentioned financial support, pastoral care – we certainly have had these services available in different locations over time. We want to be present where patients are, but we wanted to launch a model that could be the center of where all it starts here,” Head said.

He anticipates that versions of this one-stop shop for gathering information and answers will be replicated in other locations across the state.

One of the newest CARTI expansions is in El Dorado, where the organization recently secured federal funds through the state in order to expand cancer treatment in south Arkansas.

While there may be additions of services to existing facilities from Pine Bluff to El Dorado to Little Rock, Conway and Russellville, Head suggests there is not a major additional location expansion in the works. He said it’s time to optimize the recent growth.

“The last several years, five to six years, we’ve had some pretty intense growth. We are taking care of more patients than ever before in our almost 50-year history,” he said. “We want to be good stewards of everything we have. We want to be wise, anytime we’re stepping out, we’ve always felt very confident every time we’ve stepped into a new location, we believe this is where we’re supposed to be.”

You can watch Head’s full interview in the video below.