Patient navigators provide support for the entire person – body, mind and spirit, reviewing any physical, psychosocial, nutritional, spiritual, or relational issues. Our patient navigators will seek out answers to a patient’s questions and serve as a single point of contact throughout treatment to simplify the process by providing assistance from the right members of this multidisciplinary team:
- Child Life Specialist
- Oncology Nurse
- Case Manager
- Clinical Research
- Financial Counselor
- Genetic Counselor
- Palliative Care Specialist
- Pastoral Care
- Rehabilitation Therapist
Patient Navigators can provide:
- Links to community agencies able to provide help
- Support group information at both the St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center and within the Green Bay community
- Reliable, written materials about cancer and cancer treatment
A patient navigator meets with every new St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center patient, and as often as needed throughout your cancer journey. With respect for the individual needs of each patient, our patient navigators will provide you with the support you need, yet always respect your desire for independence over your cancer decisions. Patient navigation is a service provided free of charge to our patients.
To schedule a meeting with a patient navigator:
Call Connie Worzala at (920) 433-8840 or by pager: 704-3349
Call Caroline Glander at (920) 433-8971 or by pager: 704-3351
Fax at (920) 884-5357
To schedule a meeting with a patient navigator in Sheboygan:
Call Stacy at (920) 459-4618 or by fax at (920) 451-7281
Dosimetrists are specially trained professionals who help calculate the radiation dose on the computer to produce the best treatment plan for the individual. They work with the radiation oncologist and the medical physicist to determine how the radiation beams will be arranged to destroy a tumor, yet protect the normal tissues surrounding the tumor. Our dosimetrists must pass a national examination to be certified by the Medical Dosimetry Certification Board, a standard higher than many other cancer centers. In addition, certified medical dosimetrists must complete a required number of continuing education hours each year.
Clinical Research Associates
A Clinical Research Associate (CRA) interacts with patients enrolled in a clinical trial or who wish to learn more about a clinical trial. The CRA will work with the physician in finding a clinical trial for patients and in determining if patients are eligible to participate in the trial. If you are invited to participate in a trial, the CRA will review the informed consent document with you. If you are entered in a clinical trial, the CRA will be available to monitor your progress on the trial and answer questions.
Child Life Specialists
The services of the Child Life Specialist are available to the patient and their family to help with emotional needs. This can include explaining the benefits of using different types of play to help them through the treatments. Demonstration, photos and exploration of the medical equipment also can help reduce their anxiety. The Child Life Specialist can also help children understand a parent’s serious illness.
Palliative Care Team
Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Any patient who has a life-altering condition qualifies for palliative care, including patients who are seeking active, aggressive treatment, as well as those who are near the end of life.
The Palliative Care team aims to make sure the patient and family''s goals and wishes are recognized and followed. Our dedicated palliative care clinical nurse specialist assesses and coordinates needed resources. Depending on patient and family needs our team approach makes use of:
- Pastoral care
- Case management
- Massage therapy
- Child Life staff
- Discharge planning
From time to time, patients and families find themselves searching for answers to difficult questions such as, “Why me?” “Where is God when I seem to need God the most?” A Chaplain is available to listen and help with spiritual concerns, to offer prayer and emotional support, and provide education related to grief and loss. In addition, assistance in reviewing or completing a living will, power of attorney for health care, or pre-hospital do-not-resuscitate papers is available not only to all of our patients, but to the general public upon request and at no charge.
Our team of oncology experts assess and monitor patients throughout their treatment sessions and are always available to answer questions. They specialize in cancer treatment through medications, such as chemotherapy, hormones and pain management medication.
Medical oncologists care for the patient from the moment of diagnosis throughout the course of treatment and past recovery. The focus of medical oncology is on “systemic therapy”, or providing treatments against cancer that has or could spread to other parts of the body, or in providing treatments to help shrink a cancerous tumor so the surgeon can more effectively remove it. Our experts also coordinate treatment given by other specialists.
An Oncology Nurse is specially trained registered nurse who specializes in the care of cancer patients. Oncology nurses may prepare and give treatments, monitor patients, provide supportive care, and teach and counsel patients and their families. They meet with patients each week throughout the radiation therapy treatment course and assist the Radiation Oncologists in consultation and follow-up visits after treatment is completed. Oncology nurses also deliver chemotherapy infusion treatments as prescribed by the physician and meet with patients regularly to monitor side effects, answers questions, and provide referrals to other supportive services as needed.
Radiation Oncologists are physicians with advanced training who are key decision makers in choosing whether radiation therapy may be of value and the type of radiation therapy an individual may receive. This physician is the team leader and stays with you from initial consultation all the way through follow-up care.
Radiation Therapists work directly with the Radiation Oncologist in simulation and treatment and then run the radiation treatment machines to deliver that treatment to the patient. Radiation therapists also maintain daily records and regularly check the treatment machines to make certain they are performing according to our stringent standards. Our Radiation therapists receive thorough training under a two- to four-year educational program. In addition, all of our Radiation Therapists must pass a rigorous examination and be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, a standard higher than many other cancer centers. This certification also requires each therapist to meet a required number of hours of continuing education each year.
Diagnosing a hereditary cancer condition is important because it can change medical management. The chance to develop cancer depends on many factors including age, lifestyle and personal and family history. Although most cancer is not hereditary, about 5 to 10 percent of many types of cancers are hereditary. Our Cancer Genetics Consultation program helps individuals find answers to questions such as:
- Could my cancer diagnosis and/or my cancer family history be part of a hereditary cancer condition?
- Are other members of my family at increased risk for cancer?
- Is genetic testing an option for me?
- Since I have cancer, how can genetic testing influence my medical management?
- What is my risk for developing cancer based on my family history?
Our goal is to identify individuals and families at increased risk for cancer to assist in medical management and promote awareness, risk assessment, early detection, and cancer prevention.
What does a cancer genetics consultation involve?
- An appointment is scheduled for a discussion of medical and family history
- A personal hereditary cancer risk assessment is provided. Testing options for you or your family are discussed
- Follow-up includes discussion and interpretation of test results
- Medical management recommendations are made when a hereditary cancer condition is diagnosed
Who benefits from a cancer genetics consultation?
- Those who have cancer diagnosed at a younger age than usual, even without a family history of cancer
- Those who have cancer diagnosed in one or more blood relatives, especially at young ages. The lack of a family history of cancer does NOT necessarily mean that it is not hereditary
- Those who have a relative with a known abnormality in a cancer gene
- Those who have a rare cancer or tumor
- Those who have questions about whether their own history or family history is part of a hereditary cancer condition
- Those who are interested in a hereditary cancer risk assessment
You will meet with a board certified Genetic Counselor at your appointment. Genetic Counselors are masters degree professionals specifically trained to provide cancer risk assessment, discuss testing options, and coordinate diagnostic testing if indicated. Our Genetic Counselors are experts in hereditary cancer assessment and work in collaboration with physician specialists in Medical Genetics, Oncology and Breast Surgery.
If you would like more information, or wish to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (920) 433-8559.
We strive to assist cancer patients, their families, and friends in coping with the emotional effects of cancer through professional counseling and psychotherapy.
During or after treatment, concerns related to weight or diet sometimes occur. A specially trained Dietitian is available to help with:
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sore or dry mouth or throat
- Taste changes
- Questions about special diet restrictions
- Difficulty swallowing
Dietitians help patients deal with these concerns by providing advice or by working with the physicians to prescribe medical interventions.
Patient Service Representative
Our Cancer Center patient service representatives register patients for services and schedule appointments and tests ordered by the Radiation Oncologists. They are always available to help answer questions or to connect you with another member of the care team as needed.
Case managers provide important services for both the patient and family, including counseling to help the patient and family adjust to the cancer diagnosis, the treatment ahead and the impact on their lives. They also have expertise in finding financial resources for people in need and have an in-depth understanding of available community services.