News, Announcements and Expert Commentary from Inova

Want to know how you can help in the breast cancer fight?

Woman listening to another womanBecome a Mentor with the Survivors Offering Support (SOS) team at Inova

FALLS CHURCH, VA – (December 10, 2012) – Survivors Offering Support (SOS), an all-volunteer network of women who have battled breast cancer, is looking for mentors for the new Inova that matches newly diagnosed women with trained mentors who are breast cancer survivors. These mentors provide emotional and informational support to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients through peer mentoring, offers partner support workshops and facilitates “Jumpstart to Survivorship” programs.

The emotional support SOS provides fills the gap noted by The National Cancer Institute and the Institute of Medicine’s Report on Meeting the Psychosocial Needs of Women with Breast Cancer. The report states that psychosocial interventions can reduce the psychiatric symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life as part of routine breast cancer care. SOS hospital integrated services connect newly diagnosed patients with hand picked and trained peer mentors who received treatment from the same hospital.  Surveys report that mentoring support often reduces patient anxiety and lessens fear of the unknown.

To learn more about the program, please contact Pamela Crum, Coordinator, Survivors Offering Support at 703.698.2532 or

Press inquiries, contact Allison Kenty at 703-504-3840

About SOS
Denise O’Neill founded SOS in 2004 after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.  Denise had been Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Nabisco.  Her professional experience, combined with her personal experience of the benefits of peer emotional and psychosocial support in her own breast cancer journey, fueled her desire to develop a hospital based program that addressed the emotional difficulties experienced by many women.   Denise took copious notes of her own experience and others in treatment at the same time.   She researched breast cancer support programs including the American Cancer Society’s Reach for Recovery, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Women’s Information Network Against Breast Cancer program in California.  She took their best of class ideas and added her own to develop a hospital integrated peer-to-peer survivor mentor program which she developed at Anne Arundel Medical Center in 2004.  The SOS program challenges hospitals to recognize the important role trained survivors can play in assisting patients and redesigns the patient care path to include interaction and support of peer mentors

About Inova
Inova is a not-for-profit health care system located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, serving over two million people with over 1,700 licensed beds based in Northern Virginia.  Inova consists of five hospitals including the area’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care unit.  Inova encompasses many health services including the nationally and internationally recognized Inova Heart and Vascular Institute (IHVI), Inova Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI) on genomics, Inova Neuroscience Institute and Inova Children’s Hospital.  Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research.  More information and statistics about Inova is at
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  1. Nancy on May 20, 2015 at 7:35 am

    I too had a very positive experience with all of the professionals involved with my care from the beginning. I would like to give back in some small way, either through mentoring or giving encouragement in some other way that you might suggest. Having been a special ed teacher for a number of years I am comfortable in most situations. I will leave it up to you to find a niche where I may be of service.

    Thanks, Nancy

    • InovaNewsroom on June 1, 2015 at 9:43 am

      Thank you for your generous offer of time and experience! Please contact Inova Life with Cancer by calling 703-206-LIFE (5433) or email

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