Patient Advocates

Sue LeGree, RN, Patient Advocate

After you hear the doctor say, “It’s cancer,” life can become a blur. But the June E. Nylen Cancer Center (JENCC) has a Resource Team to assist you through the cancer journey, providing additional support along the way.

JENCC’s Patient Resource Team is led by Sue LeGree, RN, Patient Advocate. The team’s focus is to make sure each patient’s needs are met, whether emotional, physical, financial or spiritual. “We tell them right from day one that we want to complete their circle of needs. Helping them is why we are here,” states Sue.

Working together, each team member has a unique expertise and skill set to meet patient and family needs. In addition to Sue, the JENCC Resource Team includes nurse Leanne Bruns, RN; social worker Lori Glade, LMSW; and dietitian Alisha Sandage, RD. A financial counselor will be added to the team in the near future.

As an organization, the June E. Nylen Cancer Center is focused on patient experience. Early on in the patient experience, individuals and families meet with a member of the Patient Resource Team. Patients are presented resources relevant to their disease process and related concerns. These resources may include written educational materials, community resource information, emotional support, nutritional support, financial counseling, billing processes and contact information for each member.

JENCC believes that advocating for each patient and providing additional support throughout treatment leads to better outcomes and a more satisfying experience.

To help identify the greatest needs, the Resource Team utilizes a “Distress Tool” which indicates patient stress levels and specific concerns. The tool serves as a guide for follow up with patients and families. The information gathered from this tool helps with further support including but not limited to finances, transportation, advance directives, nutrition, caregiver issues and spiritual needs. Sue notes a common stressor for patients and families is financial challenges during treatment. Thanks to the generosity of charitable donations from staff and the community, JENCC has a Patient Assistance Fund that is available to eligible patients. The Resource Team can request funds to help provide support with mortgage/rent, utilities, and other needs.

Additionally, Sue’s role as a Patient Advocate is key in helping patients and families understand the complexities of the cancer diagnosis and treatment. She is often asked to sit in with patients and families during an appointment with the doctor. Sue adds, “With my clinical background and working so closely with the physicians, I comprehend a patient’s cancer care plan and can restate information in a different way to ensure understanding. It is important that patients and their family members comprehend their options, their care plan and feel that they are truly in control. I want to empower them. I want to help them.”

 

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, please contact the June E. Nylen Cancer Center at 712.252.0088 for exceptional cancer care close to home

Lori Glade, LMSW
Alisha Sandage, RD
Post by Chris S.

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