Indiana has approximately 500,000 cancer survivors, but many of them struggle with getting back to living full, healthy lives after their treatment ends. Indianapolis-based nonprofit Karuna Precision Wellness Center is opening to help those survivors develop a plan to get them back on track.
Founder Dr. Jamie Renbarger talked about the center and its mission with Business of Health Reporter Kylie Veleta on a special all women’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“What I found was after treatment, many people sort of feel very isolated and on their own and not really sure how to get back to the full, healthy lives that they want to live,” said Renbarger. “I think in recognizing that gap, I searched for services we could refer patients to and other things and really found that it was truly a gap in our community and across the country.”
Renbarger is the chief of hematology-oncology at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. She says the nonprofit has three main areas of focus: optimizing physical function and fitness, nutritional wellness, and psychosocial, emotional and cognitive wellness.
“It is not medical care and it’s not intended to replace any care that individuals get with their physicians but really to help and complement that care,” said Renbarger. “We recognize even with chemotherapy drugs and other medications that we use as healthcare providers that it’s not a ‘one size fits all approach.’ And with health and wellness, that same sort of approach is really critical to helping an individual person get back to their healthiest, most productive life.”
The center also includes a research component that allows for the capture of information on how the services being provided are benefiting survivors.