To meet the needs of patients undergoing treatment or in convalescence from disease, Jean-Loup gathers a unique group of practitioners and specialists who provide a wide-range of care with a mixed psychological and physical therapy model. Jean-Loup’s association, Ressource, trains beauticians, experts in sophrology or reflexology, psychologists, social workers, occupational physicians, and other specialists to adapt their skills to the specific treatment of cancer patients. This diverse community has the capacity to answer the specific demands of patients coming to Ressource. Every aspect of patient suffering is dealt with to improve their well-being and thus their ability to undergo treatments or get through the rehabilitation process. The community is reinforced by the patients themselves: in addition to receiving treatment, every patient visiting Ressource gets involved in support and expression groups with ten other patients. These groups provide the space for patients, former patients, families, and relatives, to share accomplishments, fears, and solutions with one another.
Jean-Loup build upon experiments of support expression groups and therapeutic education developed by Drs. Spiegel and Andersen, who respectively demonstrated a 100 percent increase in patients’ life expectancy and a 50 percent decrease of relapse rate for breast cancer patients. Jean-Loup upgraded and complemented these innovative methodologies through an à la carte community-based model that has benefited 1,500 persons since 2003. More than 10,000 treatments have drastically improved the living conditions and healing time of patients. Reaching a greater number of patients, he is now planning to implement a multidimensional impact evaluation that extends beyond previous research. It focuses on new aspects of enhancement for a patient’s well-being, such as compliance to treatment, shifting to healthy lifestyles, and improvements in nutrition or stress management. Jean-Loup is thus driving a new integrative oncology in which chemo- and radiotherapy are only aspects of larger cancer treatment.
To give a concrete reality for the communities and reach the next step in implementing mindfulness in cancer treatment and the treatment of other chronic diseases, Jean-Loup has built a unique location to house the gathering of various actors and provide patients with diversified, innovative, and complementary care. In a non-medical center, which is easily accessible and therefore non-stigmatizing, a psychologist helps the patient work through a personalized one-year program. Each week for four months, then bimonthly over eight months, the patients come to the center to engage with experts in wellness treatments and social counseling. In the long-term, Jean-Loup plans to have in-patient treatments depending on the particular patient’s situation. These specialists support the patient according to the needs he/she defined together with the community of caregivers and psychologists. To overcome institutional and medical corporate barriers, Jean-Loup follows his vision and empowers patients as central actors of his model. Thanks to a viral strategy using social networks and meetings, he is structuring a community of patients that spreads the word: Patients are now asking physicians to include Ressource in their treatment.
Jean-Loup is using Ressource as a tool to support the organization of unprecedented international meetings welcoming doctors, patients, and families. In 2008 and 2009, he gathered more than 8,000 individuals for a series of “Another Look at Cancer” conferences, where the most famous specialists of cancer or other diseases (including Drs. David Servan-Schreiber, Lucien Israel, and David Spiegel) called for a new way to handle heavy chronic diseases. Jean-Loup thus creates conditions for doctors and patients to change their perceptions toward treatment, and he is asked to organize these conferences on a regular basis. Networking with foreign specialists on the topic in Canada, the U.K., Switzerland, and Germany, Jean-Loup has already identified existing leverages to replicate and spread his model outside of France.
Generating sustainable funding and changing health policy are also strategic elements for spreading the Ressource model. Jean-Loup targets individual donations to advertise around Ressource and is now approaching for laboratories both financial support and to build partnerships around new hybrid treatment methodologies. On top of that, he is demonstrating potential savings implied by his model, to attain funding from regional health agencies willing to adopt cheaper solutions and to implement a Ressource center per Health Territory. Jean-Loup also raises awareness among local and regional physicians unions to change practices and integrate new approaches in doctors’ training. Eventually, he is also broadening his concept by opening up his pilot center to other types of chronic diseases, such as MCS. Jean-Loup is thus creating a network of hubs to allow specialists and patients dealing with a wide spectrum of disease to mutually work on the better handling of chronic diseases.