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Oncology patient navigator helps cancer patients cope better

Do I get my treatment in Juneau? Do I get my treatment in Seattle? What kind of hybrid care is available? What if I can't afford to travel?

These are common questions for all cancer patients. "And the pandemic can exacerbate an already challenging situation," says Bartlett Medical Oncology Center (BMOC) nurse practitioner Chris Savarese. "When you walk into a room and tell a patient they're diagnosed with cancer, the next words out of your mouth are 'we have a plan'. We have all these resources to help the patient get through this."

That's where a new position at the BMOC comes in: the oncology patient navigator. This one point of contact can help them with insurance, transportation and transition of care issues.

"I would reach out most likely over the telephone, unless there is an option to meet in person," notes patient navigator Lena Lenkiewicz. "I might ask what the patient understands about their diagnosis, their concerns and support system. If they don't have a support person, I can be that point of contact."

Bartlett case management can also connect newly diagnosed cancer patients who show up in the emergency department with the oncology patient navigator.

The overall goal is better service, treatment and quality of life for cancer patients.

Meet Lena!

Lena M. Lenkiewicz is the new oncology patient navigator at the Bartlett Medical Oncology Center.

Lena stands ready to help patients with appointments, referrals, transportation, financial assistance, housing support, insurance paperwork, crisis management, medications, mental health counseling and much more.

Lena brings seven years of case management experience to her new position, working with patients in various departments all over the hospital, including the Critical Care and Medical/Surgical units, the Rainforest Recovery Center, and Bartlett Beginnings.

Patients work with Lena by referral.

Categories: Cancer care

Here for you

Lena M. Lenkiewicz is ready to help you on your journey through treatment and recovery. Call 907.419.5290.