Once a patient, I now guide others through their breast cancer treatment. Although I am open to sharing my personal journey through breast cancer, my focus is to help educate, guide and support others. I am able to share my confidence in the Breast Care Center not only as an employee but from a patient’s point of view. I often tell patients, “I have been in that same chair myself.” Many patients tell me they feel reassured knowing I have been through it and that I am speaking from personal experience.
I have more than thirty years of nursing expertise. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1986 from a small private college in Buffalo, NY. Immediately upon graduation, I moved to California where I worked in many areas of cancer care: hospital, private practice, home IV therapy and Hospice care.
I moved to Sonoma County in 1991 to further my education, graduating from Sonoma State University in 1994 with a Master of Science in Nursing degree and certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). I worked as an FNP in private family practice for more than eleven years taking care of all ages of patients from infants to the elderly.
After completing my breast cancer treatment, I really wanted to help others going through this experience. That is when I came to the breast center formerly Redwood Regional Medical Group and began working in the breast surgery department. I am nationally certified as a Breast Patient Navigator in both imaging and cancer treatment. I work as a team member along side the Breast Surgeons, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists, Genetic Nurse Practitioner, and Medical Assistants.
As a Nurse Practitioner at St Joseph Health Cancer Care, I meet with patients when they are newly diagnosed with breast cancer and educate them about their diagnosis, explaining their pathology report. I discuss the possible treatment options and the expected sequence of care. Following the consult with one of the breast surgeons they will return to meet with me for instructions before the operation. It is my mission to help answer questions and allay their fears.