J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center Helps Patients Navigate Their Care
A diagnosis of cancer is the start of a unique journey, one that can often
be challenging. To guide and support patients and their families, the
J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center at Community Medical Center offers
a special Cancer Navigator Program to help patients understand their diagnosis
and answer questions during their treatment. Clinical navigators are dedicated
registered nurses specially trained and experienced in cancer care. They
provide guidance and resources every step along the cancer journey from
diagnosis to treatment to survivorship. Cancer navigators are a source
of confidential, personalized information.
At the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center, Kathé Sadler-Wright,
MSN, RN-C, is the clinical breast navigator. She describes her role as
a “GPS” for patients – guiding them and helping them
every step of the way.
Ms. Wright meets with breast cancer patients and puts them in touch with
financial and transportation resources, refers them to American Cancer
Society programs and support groups, assists with scheduling appointments,
additional testing and much more.
“When a patient has a cancer diagnosis, there are a lot of moving
parts in their treatment that need to be pulled together. Couple that
with the fact when a patient gets a diagnosis, they are in shock and don’t
know what to do next. That’s when a navigator becomes helpful,” she said.
Working closely with physicians on staff at Community Medical Center, the
clinical breast navigator follows patients throughout the process, including
surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Wright is involved in developing
a patient’s survivorship care plan, an interdisciplinary effort
involving everyone active with the patient’s care.
The navigator helps breast cancer survivors with follow-up appointments
and educates them on the side effects of treatment. Wright is also involved
with the hospital’s Tumor Board – where physicians of different
specialties come together to evaluate a patient’s case to recommend
the best treatment approach.
“Being a patient navigator is very personal for me,” Wright
says. “Women battling breast cancer today have a far better outlook
than even a few years ago – I find that very rewarding.”
In addition to the clinical breast cancer navigator, the J. Phillip Citta
Regional Cancer Center also offers a lung cancer navigator, cancer survivorship
navigator and American Cancer Society navigator. They are available to
assist patients from diagnosis and treatment through recovery.
For information about the J. Phillip Citta Regional Cancer Center, please
visit cmccancer.org or call 732.557.8148.