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For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Gloria O'Connell, 612-863-4801


Allina Health cancer survivorship program receives national attention

MINNEAPOLIS 07/09/2013--Allina Health is pleased to announce that Joette Zola, an occupational therapist at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, has been invited to make a presentation about cognitive impairment from cancer at the first annual Best Practices in Developing a Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Program in July in Boston, Mass.

Joette Zola will explain "chemo brain" therapy at a national conference.

"It is a privilege to work with cancer survivors that are coping with mild cognitive changes. Our program provides them with concepts and individualized strategies that help them understand their challenges and manage their inefficiencies, so they can more confidently engage in the life roles that are important to them," said Zola.

Oncology Rehabilitation Partners, a Boston-based organization that offers the STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) Program® Certification is the conference sponsor. Zola is one of more than 80 STAR Certified Clinician™ rehabilitation therapists in the Allina Health cancer rehabilitation and lymphedema program.

"It is a great honor that Joette was selected out of all the therapists in all the STAR programs around the nation. She is a pioneer in the development of a system of treatment for the cognitive impact of cancer treatment, sometimes referred to as 'chemo brain'," said Nancy Hutchison, MD, medical director for Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute and Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, part of Allina Health.

STAR-certified therapists help cancer patients overcome debilitating side-effects of cancer treatment including lymphedema, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, joint stiffness, weakness, cognitive problems, balance problems and difficulty with communication, swallowing or eating.

"STAR certification is the gold standard for cancer rehabilitation and survivorship care. There is no other program in Minnesota that is doing all that we are in terms of size, best practices, and number of STAR-certified professionals," Dr. Hutchison said.

About Courage Kenny

A clinical service line of Allina Health, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute was created in 2013 by the merger of Courage Center and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute provides a continuum of rehabilitation services for people with short- and long-term health conditions, injuries and disabilities in communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Our goal is to improve health outcomes, make it easier for clients and families to get the right services for their needs, and reduce costs by preventing complications.

Courage Center, started in 1928, and Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, opened in 1942, were both founded to bridge a gap in services for people with disabilities. Today, the combined organization serves clients of all ages who have a wide range of diagnoses. For more information on our combined services and locations visit our websites -

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services that provide hospice care, oxygen and home medical equipment, and emergency medical transportation services. Learn more at

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