Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 8

radiation oncologists, nurses, radiologists, respiratory therapists, pulmonologists and other specialists come together
to ensure the best care plan possible for
each patient.
Bruce Drummond says Patty Higgins,
St. Mary Medical Center's Oncology
nurse navigator, was key in getting his
mother's extended care team all on
the same page. After surgery for small
cell lung cancer, she needed help with
her transition home. Then, his mother
developed a stomach infection. Higgins
was able to obtain an appointment
with a specialist during the holidays
last year-something Drummond was
unable to coordinate on his own.
"My mother, Edith, needed home
healthcare-a nurse, aide, physical therapy-but we also needed help
with access to specialized care for her
stomach before she could come home
and recover," Drummond says. "My
prayer was that my mom would be able
to recover and go outside and work in
her garden. I'm sure if Patty had not
been there to intervene and help us,
that would not have happened. She
is getting better every day thanks to
everyone at St. Mary Medical Center
who provided outstanding care."
"Even with all of our best efforts,
so many details can be missed in the
transition to home, and that is why
I am here in this job," Higgins says.

"I follow along and check up
on patients throughout their
course of treatment. At the end
of treatment, I gather all of the
diagnosis, surgical, radiation
and/or chemotherapy data and
provide a Survivorship Care
Plan that is overseen and signed
by the physicians. It provides a
plan of action that I think is very
helpful in transitioning a patient
back to their 'new normal.' "
Once treatment is complete,
survivors are invited to participate in a "Survivorship Visit"
with the nurse navigator for a
comprehensive treatment summary and review of care plans
provided by the patient's physician. In addition to supporting
patients through the process, the
nurse navigator helps educate patients
on how to maintain a good quality of
health following cancer treatments.
Part of the many other support
resources that nurse navigators have
to coordinate on that journey to a
new normal include the Community
Cancer Research Foundation and its
Cancer Resource Centre. Through
the Foundation's efforts, patients
have access to clinical research trials sponsored by the National Cancer
Institute and major research cooperatives worldwide. The three hospitals

WEBSITE

Community Cancer Care
For more information about oncology care and services offered at the
hospitals of Community Healthcare System, visit www.comhs.org/
services/cancer-care.

8

FA L L 2 0 1 7

Bruce Drummond and his mother, Edith
Drummond, (left and center) check in with
St. Mary Medical Center Oncology Nurse
Navigator Patty Higgins on a follow-up visit
to the hospital.

of Community Healthcare System offer
patient access to research for prevention and/or treatment for breast, lung,
ovarian, colon cancers, lymphoma, adult
leukemia and multiple myeloma.
The Cancer Resource Centre complements the advanced cancer treatment options available through the
three hospitals. The Centre, located
at 926 Ridge Road in Munster, is open
to everyone who needs help in coping
with a cancer diagnosis. The therapeutic environment of the Centre promotes
healing of the body, mind and spirit
with supplemental therapies, education
and support services.
"As nurse navigators, we keep our
patients connected and help to coordinate all the support necessary on
the journey," Marrero says. "We do
this together. Every day, new steps are
taken, but we take them together." ■


http://www.comhs.org/services/cancer-care http://www.comhs.org/services/cancer-care

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 2
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 5
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover3
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