$1 million donation to Clovis hospital helps fund care for cancer patients

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno attorney John Morris was diagnosed with brain cancer last August.

But his fears were eased a bit by a new support program at the Community Cancer Institute in Clovis.

"This program here at the hospital is absolutely outstanding, it saved my life," Morris says.

The hospital's oncology unit provides the medical treatment, but the support services team includes a nurse navigator, a social worker, a dietitian and others for every patient. Chenille Rivera is a Registered nurse, and care navigator.

"(We) make sure the patient understands their diagnosis, their plan of care, go with them through the valleys the highs and the lows of their cancer journey," Rivera says.

The nurse navigators are available round the clock. The support also includes counseling for the patient and their family.

Katie Zenovich is the CEO of the community medical foundation. She says a recent $1 million donation from Howe Electric helps make it possible.

"This gift is so great because patients wouldn't otherwise have access to these programs and services, they are not billable to insurance and they are not something that is really within the budget," she says.

It's one of the biggest single donations to the cancer center, which has seen 50,000 patient appointments in its first year of operation.

"It used to be people would say - 'Oh gosh! I've got cancer, I've got to go out of town, or somewhere else to get the best possible treatment'. And we have fixed that problem by putting world class care right here."

And John Morris credits the treatment and care he received here with his recovery.

"Everything is explained thoroughly, and it's a blessing to have this institution here in the Valley," Morris says.
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