November 09, 2012
Patient Navigator Serves as a Valuable Resource for Breast Health Continuum of Care
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 9, 2012) – Breast care patients at TriStar Sarah Cannon Cancer Center located at TriStar Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., now benefit from a new patient navigation program specifically for breast cancer patients.
This new program expands the breast health services offered at TriStar Centennial and all TriStar facilities throughout Middle Tennessee. Recent studies suggest that patient navigation—a service that helps patients manage the complexities of cancer care—leads to faster diagnosis for breast cancer.
“TriStar Sarah Cannon’s breast navigation program provides women a personalized and coordinated approach to screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer,” said Jonathan Connor, administrator of oncology services for TriStar Health. “With the support of a breast navigator as part of the healthcare team, many women are able to overcome the fears and barriers associated with breast cancer and receive the necessary care, saving precious time and improving outcomes.”
TriStar Health recently added five breast patient navigators to assist patients at all TriStar Sarah Cannon Cancer Center locations—including TriStar Centennial, TriStar Hendersonville, TriStar Horizon, TriStar Skyline, TriStar Southern Hills, TriStar StoneCrest, and TriStar Summit Medical Centers in Middle Tennessee.
A breast health navigator is a healthcare professional trained in breast cancer care who guides and supports patients and their families through the many challenges of breast cancer. The navigator is dedicated to bringing together all multidisciplinary team members involved in a patient’s care, leading to a quicker diagnosis and translating to faster treatment to give women a higher chance at survival.
“Women who face the diagnosis of breast cancer undergo a lot physical and emotional distress,” explains Sharon Rhett, breast health navigator at TriStar Centennial.
This often leads to a lot of anxiety and confusion that patients and their family members don’t know how to handle or where to direct questions.
“I serve as a resource to these patients and their family members, someone they can reach out to with questions or for assistance,” said Rhett. “In addition to helping answer questions about diagnosis, treatment and their care, I can help connect patients with community resources for education, support and assistance.”
Breast cancer patient Becky Tigert, who is just beginning her breast cancer journey, is most thankful for Rhett’s assistance.
“I received my diagnosis shortly after re-locating to Nashville,” she said. “I was confused and scared and I had questions I was embarrassed to ask my doctor.”
There was a lot of information to take in quickly about her diagnosis and next steps in her treatment plan. Tigert was feeling overwhelmed. About this time, Tigert’s oncologist connected her with Rhett.
“She is my miracle,” said Tigert. “Sharon is always there to answer my questions. She helps me understand what’s going on and even helps me remember where I need to be for my treatment and when. She answered questions about my care and what I was feeling that my friends – though very supportive – just didn’t know how to answer.”
Rhett said her role in the patient’s cancer journey is to be a partner to guide patients through this confusing and hectic time.
“Our breast cancer patients always have someone they can reach out to directly during every step of their cancer journey, from discovery to recovery,” said Rhett. “I am proud to be their partner in their journey.”
For more information about breast health services and the breast health navigator program at TriStar Centennial, call (615) 342-1919 or visit TriStarHealth.com and select TriStar Centennial Medical Center.
Celebrating 44 years of providing quality healthcare to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and the surrounding region, TriStar Centennial Medical Center is a 657-bed comprehensive facility offering medical and surgical programs including behavioral health, 24-hour emergency, heart and vascular, imaging, neurosciences, oncology, orthopaedics, pediatrics, rehabilitation, sleep disorder, and women’s services. An affiliate of TriStar Health, TriStar Centennial Medical Center is home to TriStar Centennial Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, TriStar Centennial Women’s & Children’s, TriStar Centennial Heart & Vascular Center as well as TriStar Centennial Parthenon Pavilion, one of the oldest and largest full-service psychiatric facilities in the region. Round-the-clock care is also available at TriStar Ashland City, a critical access hospital in nearby Cheatham County. The new TriStar Emergency Room located in Spring Hill will provide 24-hour emergency care for nearby Spring Hill, Tenn., and surrounding communities when it opens in 2013. For more information about the services offered and health plans accepted by TriStar Centennial Medical Center or TriStar Health, call TriStar MedLine® at (615) 342-1919 or (800) 242-5662, or visit TriStarHealth.com and choose TriStar Centennial Medical Center. TriStar Centennial Medical Center is located at 2300 Patterson Street in Nashville.