“There are walls that go up when you hear ‘You have cancer’,” said Sabo.” “Someone may be in such a state of shock that she can’t remember all the information and everything the doctor said. We can go over what the doctor told them and I can educate the patient and her family as well as prompt questions she might want to ask her doctor.”
With a primary doctor’s and patient’s permission, Sabo guides a patient through the diagnosis, treatment and recovery process and among the many specialists appointments the patient is likely to encounter.
“We have so many services in one building, I try to walk them through the process and anticipate and help avoid any obstacles to their care,” said Sabo. “Do they have insurance, do they understand how it works? I want to help them get the most bang for their buck from their insurance.” Located in the first office in the lobby of the cancer center, Sabo is easily accessible – in person, on the phone or by e-mail. She hopes to take some of the stress and effort off the patient.
“A lot of times patients don’t have time to research their disease, it’s just easier to talk to someone who has the information or has done the research for them,” said Sabo. “I also make sure that if their doctor wants them to see a particular surgeon and there are scheduling issues, I make sure the patient gets in, so the patient doesn’t have to deal with that. That’s what I’m here for,” said Sabo. This navigator doesn’t just focus on the medical aspect of breast cancer. “I have time to find creative solutions to their problems,” said Sabo. “If they chose radiation, that means they are coming here daily. If a patient is driving in a long distance, I can try to get them a gas card from the American Cancer Society. I try to get them plugged in with the appropriate resources.” With so many services to cancer patients, from a new patient orientation class, diet and nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian, a research nurse to help patients find out about and qualify for new treatments, a social worker, Medical Oncology department, full service Radiation department, a lymphedema specialist, Rehabilitation therapists and occupational therapists to fit for prosthetics, a Nurse Navigator is the latest way St. Joseph is making excellent and compassionate care easier. Sabo helps women with the details, so they can focus on getting better. For more information on the St. Joseph Cancer Center, visit: http://www.st-joseph.org/Cancer or call 979.774.0808.