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Medical Monday: Breast Health Navigator

| October 7, 2013

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Kimberly Wilcox has a very personal connection to breast cancer.  Her “mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has been cancer free for 15 years now and I saw and watched and experienced first hand how confusing and how overwhelming this whole process can be.”  So, that experience has fueled a passion in Wilcox and now she is a breast health navigator at Cary Medical Center. That means she spends her days making sure patients who are coming in for anything from a routine mammogram to surgery for breast cancer, never feel like she did…overwhelmed.

Wilcox says “the Patient Navigation System was set up to assist patients not only with education, but emotional support. Any services, for instance, if a patient needs any help getting to an appointment, financial assistance for gas, child care, anything that patient needs, anything we can do to alleviate stress for the patient as they are going through this process.”  Dr. Shawn Laferriere, the Medical Director of Radiology at Cary Medical Center agrees that Wilcox’s job is important.  He says that “since we’ve opened, we’ve see patients from Allagash to Houlton and particularly patients who come from away need a contact person and a resource for education materials, where can they go if they have trouble, where can they go if they have questions. And that’s a big important step for us to have.”

Wilcox also goes between the patient and the doctors, explaining what is going on and setting up further appointments. She has been working in this position for a year, officially becoming certified in June. She says reaction from the patients has been very positive. She adds that every day her passion for the job is growing as she meets more and more inspiration women fighting back against breast cancer.  Wilcox is one of only 9 breast health navigators in the state and the only one north of Bangor.

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Category: Your Health

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