Monday Muster: Monarch Program

The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center helps local veterans with all their health care needs, including compassionate cancer treatment.

The Monarch Program is designed for veterans newly diagnosed with cancer and offers emotional support alongside other necessary services.

Oncology Coordinator Debra Lagrone said the idea for the program started after nurses noticed patients having trouble balancing their cancer treatment alongside their emotional needs.

“We started to speak to all the patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer,” Lagrone said. “And we make sure we telephone them and speak to them directly, giving them one primary phone contact so they don’t have to call and try to find somebody to assist them.”

In addition, the program coordinates with the veteran’s primary care service, social and mental health workers and the VA’s chaplain.

“Instead of them having to tell us ‘I need social work’ and ‘I need mental health’ and ‘I need chaplain service,’ we call them, we stay with them, we follow up with them,” Lagrone said.

If you’d like to learn more about the Monarch Program available for veterans being treated at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, call 205-554-2000.


Monday Muster is sponsored by the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center. Its goal is lifelong health, well-being and resilience for the veterans it serves.

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