Will fund nurse navigation services for third straight year
Officials at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital announced today that the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has awarded a grant in the amount of $22,560 to help continue providing nurse navigation services as part of the hospital’s Comprehensive Breast Care program.
The NBCF awarded similar one-year grants to BMH in 2011 and 2012. The amount reflects both the need for nurse navigation services and the benefits it provides for patients with breast cancer.
“According to the NBCF, nurse navigation is a proactive approach to help patients overcome the barriers of cost, fear and misinformation surrounding breast cancer and its prevention,” says Kelly McCue, RN, MSN, program administrator and nurse navigator at BMH. “By helping underserved women navigate the health care system, BMH is providing the vision that gives women hope.”
McCue says that she records more than 300 patient encounters per month in her nurse navigation logs. Her duties include guiding the patient and family from diagnosis through treatment to post treatment follow-up and out to survivorship. The nurse navigator also evaluates the patient for distress related to psychosocial, financial, transportation or housing stresses, and assists the patient by making referrals and helping with applications. All of these services are provided at no cost to the patient.
In addition to paying a portion of the nurse navigator’s salary, other tangible benefits from the NBCF grant include gas cards for patients in need of transportation assistance, radio advertising about mammograms and the creation and mailing of breast care education materials to the targeted population of women 40 years or older. Last year, the mammography department mailed an average of 175 brochures per week that were placed inside of the mammogram reminder letter. The brochures contained information about financial assistance for mammograms and other services for underserved women in the tri-state area of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts served by BMH.
“The need for nurse navigation has increased and some hospitals do not have a program,” says McCue, a breast cancer survivor herself since 2003. “Approximately one out of every three women in Windham County -does not get an annual mammogram, largely due to lack of insurance and awareness of the importance of early detection. Breast cancer, when detected early, can be successfully treated.”
The Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Comprehensive Breast Care Program provides integration of all aspects of breast care in a friendly, professional manner assuring national standards of quality care are met. Locally, BMH cancer services include surgery, medical oncology, chemotherapy, physical therapy, dietary counseling and survivorship programs. State-of-the-art imaging includes digital mammography, ultrasound, bone densitometry, CT scanning and stereotactic biopsy. BMH also offers Breast MRI technology and genetic counseling and evaluation services to patients who may be at high-risk for breast cancer. To schedule an appointment with the BMH Comprehensive Breast Care Program, contact Kelly McCue, RN, MSN at 802-251-8437.
Recognized as one of the leading breast cancer organizations in the world, the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s (NBCF) mission is to save lives through early detection and to provide mammograms for those in need. A recipient of Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for eight years, NBCF provides women “Help for Today…Hope for Tomorrow®” through its National Mammography Program, Beyond The Shock®, Early Detection Plan, MyNBCF online support community, mobile phone applications and breast cancer research programs. For more information, please visit www.nbcf.org.