New Outlook Cancer Recovery Program Offers Free Resources

As seen on THV11

New Outlook, the cancer recovery program at CHI St. Vincent Infirmary offers help in dealing with the disease. All you'll owe is a hug. CHI St. Vincent and the New Outlook program offer free resources including makeovers, not just any makeover, but makeovers for cancer survivors.

Nell has been letting Alesa Garner, New Outlook program coordinator, apply makeup to her for a while now. In 2001, Nell was diagnosed with cancer. "If you're a first-time cancer patient and have never known anyone who has had cancer, it's extremely scary," Nell said.

But on her way to work in CHI St. Vincent, she would see The New Outlook sign and knew what she had to do. "That was my first thought when I got cancer," Nell said. "I knew where I needed to go for support."

New Outlook, a program run by an angel, Alesa Garner. The program is a supportive non-medical treatment center to help people deal with the side effects of their treatment from cancer and just a diagnosis in general," Garner said.

She knows. She's been there. She is a cancer survivor herself. "The first thing I tell people when they're first diagnosed is to take a breath," Garner said. And before a patient can exhale, Alesa's volunteers provide information and emotional support for what's going on inside a patient. And once treatment begins they help with what's on the outside: provide wigs, hairpieces, bandannas, makeup services. It's a service now entering its 23rd year.

"We have helped families in every county in Arkansas," Garner said. But it's really the wide range of support groups that have made New Outlook famous helping patients with issues new and old. "Sometimes those can be kind of difficult to accept. That's when you just reach out to your group and talk," Nell said.

And now the shocker. All of this. The groups, the info, the wigs, the makeup sessions, the counseling. It's all free. Because, "The last thing you want to think about you know is having to pay for something else," Nell said.

When a patient asks Alesa how much ..."I go well, I require a hug," Garner said. She is satisfied with helping others. "It's very comforting to come here you know you feel like you're just wrapped in this love and warmth here," Nell said.

To contact Alesa Garner about New Outlook, call CHI St. Vincent Infirmary at 501.552.3900, or 800.446.7341, or visit