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Frederick Regional Health System Launches New Medical Oncology Nurse Navigator Program

01-24-2017

Featured from left to right: FRHS's oncology nurse navigators; Maggie Siebeneichen, Deb Sines, Deb Fuller, Dara Claxton, and Tracy Asbury.

To better prepare patients for cancer treatment, Frederick Regional Health System (FRHS)’s award-winning medical oncology program launched a new nurse navigator program. Inspired by FRHS’s own nurse navigators, who have worked with tumor patients since 2005, and similar programs at the nation’s top cancer hospitals, the program provides full care coordination, from diagnosis to survivorship.

Each cancer patient will automatically be assigned a nurse navigator during their initial visit to the hospital, when they learn of their diagnosis. The nurse navigator’s goal is to help ease the patient’s anxiety and eliminate barriers to care access. As personal cancer care experts, they offer education, support, and resources to help the patient as well as their families.

“Cancer is a family disease. It’s complex and devastating. Patients have a hard time navigating their way through it all,” says Carol Mastalerz, director of oncology services at FRHS. With a nurse navigator, each patient will now have a valuable source of support as they cope with a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer patients in Frederick County will benefit by having:

  • All questions answered in a timely and efficient manner so they’re well informed to make decisions about their care
  • A direct link to their physician through a nurse navigator
  • Unlimited education opportunities
  • Coordination of testing, treatment, and appointments
  • Family meetings with their nurse navigator and/or physician, as requested
  • An advocate and ally as they make their way through the maze of cancer diagnoses and treatment

FRHS’ nurse navigators are registered, certified oncology nurses with more than 10 years of experience in the field. They’ve worked with patients in hospice care and infusion center settings. Patients benefit from their compassionate care and expertise, while physicians benefit from having another partner in providing optimum care to the community.

“Our experience with our tumor nurse navigators is really why we chose to do this for medical oncology,” says Mastalerz. “We found it to be successful. Now that we have an affiliation with MD Anderson Cancer Network, it all fits together very nicely to give our patients complete access to quality care and services.”

To learn more about the new nurse navigator program at FRHS or other cancer care available in Frederick County, visit fmh.org/cancer.

Categories: Cancer


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