The transplant journey, or any serious health journey, impacts each patient’s mind, body and spirit. Our program is dedicated to creating one of the world’s most comprehensive, innovative, integrative healing and well-being programs for blood and marrow transplant patients, one that will improve patient outcomes, enhance treatment/healing experiences for patients and their families, and reduce costs.
Our committed partners from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing help us determine how integrative therapies could be used to better support patients, families and staff. The Center is a leader in university-based education, research, and consultation around integrative health and well-being.
Our program aims to:
Improve care experiences for patients/families: The transplant journey is difficult. Long hospital stays that separate children from their loved ones, friends and familiar surroundings can create anxiety and sadness. Through integrative therapies like aromatherapy and acupressure, and enhanced in-room technology using light and music, we will establish more opportunities for patients and families to create a calming space that’s customized to meet their needs.
Improve symptom management: Physical hardships associated with transplant treatment are profound— young patients must deal with pain, nausea, anxiety and sleeplessness. Traditional medicine can alleviate some of these symptoms, yet several integrative therapies are proving to be effective in symptom management with fewer side effects. Current therapies available regularly include aromatherapy, guided imagery and music therapy. Plans for expansion include acupressure and massage with the possibility of adding others.
Enhance the patient and family’s resiliency and capacity to cope: We will expand current patient and family education so that all family members can benefit from integrative healing practices before, during and after hospitalization. New skills will allow everyone to cope better with the illness, extended and multiple hospitalization(s) and disruption to daily life. With collective resiliency, we increase the likelihood for favorable clinical outcomes and the family’s longer-term view of well-being.
Integrative Therapies Program Leadership
Megan Voss, DNP
Megan obtained her BSN from Fort Hays State University and her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Minnesota’s School of Nursing with an emphasis on Integrative Health and Healing. Megan’s clinical and research interests include comfort care, integrative nursing models, nutrition and mindfulness. In her role, Megan will implement many of the Integrative Therapies program elements for the pediatric BMT program, with the opportunity to expand throughout University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.