(l-r) Cancer Support Community South Central Indiana CEO Eric Richards, Development Manager Stephanie Shelton, and Program Manager Katie Tremel outside the group’s new facility on West 3rd Street. Photo by Martin Boling


Cancer patients and their loved ones can expect a warm-and-homey vibe— and a plethora of free services—when they step inside the new Bloomington- based Cancer Support Community South Central Indiana (CSCSCI). With plans to open sometime in December at 1719 W. 3rd St., the subsidiary of the Indianapolis-based Cancer Support Community Central Indiana (CSCCI) will afford oncology patients in Monroe and 10 surrounding counties a much- needed boost.

“We have a service or program for just about anyone impacted by cancer,” CSCSCI President and CEO Eric Richards explains. “As an example, if someone has a mobility issue as a result of a cancer surgery or treatment, our trained massage therapists or yoga instructors may be able to assist with therapies needed to get things back on track. Or, if a caregiver really needs to talk with others experiencing what they are, they can access our friends and family support group.”

CSCSCI’s Bloomington spot has just over 3,000 square feet of space and is situated about a mile east of Interstate 69. “It was important that we found a location that was not only accessible to those living in and near Bloomington, but also for those who live in places like Bedford and Paoli,” Richards notes. “We will emulate our home office in Indianapolis and, when people enter, they will enter a comfortable, non-clinical atmosphere with warm tones, comfortable furniture like you’d find at home, and spaces for massage therapy, support groups, reiki, yoga, and more.”

Originally founded as The Wellness Community–Central Indiana in 1995, CSCCI has traditionally served Marion and nearby counties. The Bloomington expansion is the result of a $260,000 Bloomington Health Foundation grant. “Without a doubt, [they have] been instrumental in us being in Bloomington and in the south-central region,” Richards says. “There is absolutely no way we’d be where we are—or headed in the direction we are—otherwise. Specifically, funds from Hoosiers Outrun Cancer have made this a reality.” (In fact, as part of its Bloomington Health Foundation agreement, CSCSCI will now manage and implement the popular fundraiser, which will help support the program moving forward.)

As for other essential partnerships? Richards names Indiana University Health. “We appreciate their being such an incredible referral source so that folks know we’re here to help,” he says.

Want to support CSCSCI or need a little help yourself ? Visit cancersupportscin.org for details.