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Support Services

The Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in Waterford offers a variety of cancer support services to compliment our clinical services. We understand that undergoing treatment for cancer can be a challenging time. The impact on your life, and your loved ones’ lives, can be difficult.

To help our patients and their families, we offer the following support services:

Patient Care Coordinator

Being diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming. Adding the coordination of your own treatment plan, only diverts your focus from the most important thing and that is you. A Patient Care Coordinator works directly with patients and families to help navigate their course of treatment. A Coordinator meets and follows-up with patients from the first encounter, as well as during and after their treatment, to ensure that patient questions are answered and that patients feel comfortable and cared for while at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center. The Coordinator will also communicate any patient or family concerns with members of the clinical team at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center, so that all caregivers will understand how to accommodate the individual needs of our patients

Meet L+M's Certified Patient Navigator

Karen Geary is the Patient Navigator at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center. In her role, Karen helps patients and families with any concerns they may have and introduces them to the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center and the services available, as well as coordinating their first appoint with the oncologist.

As Patient Navigator, she may facilitate communication between referring physicians and hospitals, to ensure smooth transition for a patient to the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center including paper documentation needed for their initial consultation. She also greets a patient on their first visit and accompanies them to registration, to be sure nursing assessments are completed, answer any patient questions and reduce patient or family initial anxiety.

To reach Karen, call the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center at 860-444-3744, ext. 3154.

Financial Counseling

Our Financial Counselors can assist you in a variety of ways to suggest all options that are available and, which may help off-set out-of-pocket expenses while you are receiving treatment at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center.

Some options include:

  • Seeking financial assistance or drug replacement for chemotherapy drugs through the Pharmaceutical companies and other outside foundations.
  • Assist you in obtaining insurance coverage through the CT health exchange, if you do not currently have coverage. Our counselors are CT Certified Application Counselors.
  • Understand what may be available for financial aid through Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and assist with the application process. Click here for the Financial Assistance Application.

Simply contact our Cancer Center Financial Counselor to arrange an appointment to discuss your options in more detail, please call 860-444-3744, ext: 4498. Return your energies to your primary focus - you.

Oncology Social Workers

Oncology social workers help patients and their families navigate the emotional challenges and adjustments of living with cancer. Our support specialists can help to address the impacts on your home life, professional life, family and relationships.

Nutrition Counseling

Our dietitians will work with you to design a healthy diet to encourage healing and improve energy levels, while adjusting for any side effects that may be caused by your clinical treatments.


Volunteers provide wonderful support to the patients and staff at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in many ways, including offering several programs and services to patients and their families:

Gentle Touch, massage to the hands and feet and is offered to the patients as well as their families.

Pet Therapy, a program where licensed therapy dogs come to the Cancer Center with their owners and visit the patients and their families.

Greeters, warmly welcome patients at the Cancer Center and escort new patients to their treatment waiting areas.

Volunteer “Runners”, may be found in the infusion area as well as waiting areas of the Cancer Center. These volunteers make rounds to be sure the patients and their families have everything they need, and offer support and comfort through conversation.

Spiritual Support

Chaplains are available to provide comfort, prayers, a listening ear as well as addressing deeper spiritual needs. If you would like to talk with a chaplain during your next visit, please call 860-442-0711, ext. 2305 to arrange a time convenient to meet. Chaplains are not stationed at the Cancer Center full-time, so a pre-arranged meeting is necessary. They will however, meet with you at the Cancer Center.