Barbara Bradley Baekgaard Family Foundation and Cancer Support Community Announce Partnership to Develop Healing Spaces in Hospitals for Cancer Patients and Caregivers

February 14, 2017

WASHINGTON – (Feb. 14, 2017) – The Barbara Bradley Baekgaard Family Foundation announced today its pledge of more than $500,000 to the Cancer Support Community, a nonprofit focused on the social and emotional impact of cancer, to create welcoming spaces in hospitals where cancer support groups and programs will be put in place.

The partnership will take place in six new hospital settings where the Cancer Support Community’s vital programs for cancer patients and caregivers will be implemented. The Cancer Support Community began expansions into hospitals in 2013. This partnership will allow the organization to accelerate the expansion into additional hospitals across the nation.

“Every Cancer Support Community and Gilda’s Club location is designed to be a homelike space for people touched by cancer. Through this partnership, we are looking forward to creating warm and friendly spaces inside of hospitals where people facing cancer can receive professional, high quality services to help them during their cancer experience,” said Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO of the Cancer Support Community.

Hospital sites selected for the partnership will allocate space for Cancer Support Community programs and will receive design consultation from the Barbara Bradley Baekgaard Family Foundation. CSC facilities typically include a meeting room for group therapy, a reception area, office space, a library or other quiet space, and a kitchen area. While hospital and foundation staff work together to design the physical space, Cancer Support Community Headquarters will train staff in the organization’s comprehensive program model to ensure the hospital meets all standards for service delivery.

Barbara Bradley Baekgaard is a cofounder of Vera Bradley, Inc., a leading designer of women’s handbags and accessories.

“We are pleased to partner with the Cancer Support Community to bring their high quality, evidence-based program model to new hospital sites and help patients and their loved ones heal in a warm, inviting space,” said Joanie Hall, a founder of the Barbara Bradley Baekgaard Family Foundation and member of the Bradley family.

Recent studies have shown that not only do well-designed spaces increase patient satisfaction, but they also may have a therapeutic impact on patients, loved ones, and hospital staff, and may even reduce health care costs and improve patient outcomes.

Hospital sites for the partnership will be announced in 2017, and Cancer Support Community programs will be implemented within 24 months.