I will be part of the next set of U.S. Labor Department unemployment statistics, because my job as a licensed massage therapist at Mercy St. Vincent Hospital was eliminated.
I’ll be expecting my government-funded, discounted health insurance on Feb. 1, after my medical benefits expire at the end of January.
Massage therapy loss bemoaned
As an oncology and hospice massage therapist, I am dismayed by Mercy St. Vincent Hospital’s recent elimination of its integrative therapy department.
Over the past 11 years, this department has fulfilled Mercy’s mission of comfort to its oncology patients through massage, yoga, and other gentle therapies and support.
In addition, hundreds of therapists from this area and around the country have benefited from the oncology massage training offered through the Mercy program.
The in-house services offered by the therapists provided an example of how cancer patients should be treated. To provide gentle human connection at a time when a person has been cut by surgery, burned by radiation, or had cells poisoned by chemotherapy is to offer a small window of peace in a traumatic time.
The savings to Mercy in cutting its four dedicated part-time therapists is minimal. The cost to the community and to cancer patients is inestimable.
Editor’s note: A Mercy spokesman said: “As part of Mercy’s announced overall work-force realignment, the integrative therapy service was restructured. Mercy is working to partner with local outside organizations whose core business is to provide such support services to families.”