Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH) recently introduced a new program for community members faced with the daunting challenge of a breast cancer diagnosis. Along with the obvious anxiety and health concerns that accompany such a diagnosis, the initial amount of information, tests and decisions to be made can be additionally over-whelming for the patient. While having the support of friends and family is invaluable, CPH recently acquired two new Breast Health Navigators, local RN’s who received special training in Atlanta, GA and returned home to provide what the title implies: help patients navigate their path to recovery. “What I do for patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer is serve as a consultant or navigator for them. I help guide them through the series of treatments and the chemotherapy, the doctor’s appointments, the genetics counselor and the nutritionist. I’m a constant check-in point for them throughout their experiences,” explained Heather Moon, RN at CPH and a recently trained patient navigator.
“For many patients, especially in the beginning, having a navigator can make all the difference in the ease with which they progress through the uncharted territory of their diagnostic journey: the initial diagnosis, the treatment and ultimately survivorship. In conjunction with scheduling treatment, navigators also help direct patients towards other resources in our community such as breast prosthesis and wigs. After surgery we help with follow up: wound care and dressing changes, whatever a patient who is going through breast cancer may need,” said Moon. “What I encourage patients to do is to just take care of themselves and we will help take care of their care as well as help them understand what is happening to them and what to expect next,” she said in expressing the desire of CPH to get the word out to the community. “Though the Breast Cancer program has been a part of CPH for quite some time, in initiating the new program CPH is working to bring more awareness to the community. We want to let the community know that we’re here for them, they don’t have to go to Anchorage anymore to receive the care they need,” said Moon. Now with the expertise of Heather and Amber Avery as patient navigators, along with the rest of the qualified staff at CPH, patients and their families diagnosed with breast cancer have access to phenomenal care and guidance right here at home.
For those seeking more information about the program or wanting to schedule an appointment with a navigator call (907) 714-4420.