Integrative Oncology Training Programs for Staff

One goal of the Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program is to reach as many patients as we can through innovation and teamwork.

We strive to bring integrative care to many locations by training our trusted, passionate, and skilled staff to expand our program.

We offer two ambassador training programs for staff in nursing and nutrition.

The Nurse Ambassador Program

The Nurse Ambassador Program combines learning and hands-on integrative care in a cancer setting.

Cancer nurses focus on patients in treatment, clinic, and inpatient units to improve their experience, symptoms, and quality of life through:

  • Aromatherapy.
  • Breathing techniques and meditation.
  • Hand and foot massage.
  • Seated yoga.

After training, you'll offer these integrative therapies at the chair or bedside of cancer patients.

The program:

  • Helps patients manage their symptoms and wellness.
  • Measures and documents patients' symptoms and experience.
  • Offers nurse support and group sharing of training.

To apply, you must:

  • Be an RN.
  • Work in a cancer setting.
  • Be in good standing with UPMC and your current supervisor.

The Nutrition Ambassador Program

The Nutrition Ambassador program combines education, evidence-based research, and lifestyle nutrition at the bedside. Registered dietitians in any medical specialty will learn tools to expand their practice and explore a more holistic approach. As a Nutrition Ambassador, you'll teach patients — one-on-one — diet and lifestyle techniques to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. We define this as lifestyle nutrition. It's a framework to know the role that food plays in helping prevent and manage illness.

What is lifestyle nutrition?

Lifestyle nutrition:

  • Is a framework for how food plays a role in helping to prevent and manage illness in real life and in real-time.
  • Takes a team approach to care and customizes the interaction between patients and dietitians.
  • Offers guidance on specific diets and supplements to manage symptoms, side effects, and improve quality of life.
  • Addresses the growing questions of patients and caregivers as they wade through vast amounts of food and nutrition information from various sources.
  • Helps highlight the importance of a healthy weight, as obesity is quickly overtaking tobacco as a key driver of complex diseases.

Training by our Lead Lifestyle Dietitian will be both didactic and hands-on.

To apply for the Nutrition Ambassador Program, you must be:

  • A registered dietitian.
  • In good standing with UPMC and your current supervisor.

To learn more, email Angela at zaccagniniam@upmc.edu