• 530.541.3420 | 2170 South Avenue, S. Lake Tahoe, CA

Patient Brings Cancer Care to Our Community

Since 2008, South Lake Tahoe resident, Rick Robinson has been fighting his battle with cancer. Throughout his care, he traveled to Truckee, CA for radiation and chemotherapy, as well as participate in a cancer wellness program that focused on exercise, yoga and nutrition. Seeing the wellness program’s benefits, Rick knew a similar program would be vital to cancer patients in our community without requiring them to travel. Rick was inspired to partner with Barton’s director of Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine, Alan Barichievich, M.S.P.T, to help create a program. As Rick puts it with a smile, “I was a guanine pig of sorts” as he helped pioneer Barton’s Cancer Wellness Program now available to cancer patients right here in South Lake Tahoe.

Funded by the Barton Foundation, the complimentary program is designed to help community members undergoing, or who have undergone cancer treatment to reach an improved state of wellness through guided exercise, yoga, meditation and nutrition.

“When you are undergoing treatment, it is very difficult to motivate yourself to get up and move. That is why having this program is so fantastic. I know that it has kept me stronger and been able to fight my battle better.” Today, Rick continues to ride his bike, take occasional hikes and enjoy his life to the fullest.

Kelly Skelly, a physical therapist with Barton Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine, leads the Exercise for Energy classes - a series of supervised exercise classes that incorporate strengthening, stretching, breathing, balance, cardio and wellness education.

"Exercise has been shown to improve not only a person's ability to complete their activities of daily living, but it also can help with decreasing pain and cancer related fatigue, Skelly explains. “I try to make the exercise class fun and as individualized to a person's goals as possible."

In addition to exercise, the program offers cancer patients and recovering patients free yoga classes. Health benefits to doing yoga include relaxation and stress reduction, as well as help create a sense of well-being and improve the quality of life. “Yoga provides a peace of mind and a way of helping you to relax versus the more physical aspects of the Exercise for Energy program,” Rick describes.

Also included in the program are free nutrition classes which offer sound nutritional advice, cooking tips and recipes. Led by Barton Health’s Registered Dietitians, patients learn how a healthy, balanced diet plays a key role in overall health during cancer treatments and throughout recovery and long-term survivorship.

A physician referral is required to participate in Barton’s Cancer Wellness Program. As with any wellness program, it is important to consult your physician to determine if the program is right for you. If at any time you experience abnormal symptoms associated with the program, please discontinue the wellness program and contact your physician immediately.

Yoga and meditation classes are led by Barton Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine care team members. For more information on exercise, yoga and meditation classes, call Barton Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine at (530) 543-5896. For nutrition information and schedule an appointment, please call (530) 543-5824. Visit bartonhealth.org/cancerwellness.