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(GARDEN CITY, KAS.) Since the nurse-navigator program for breast cancer patients has been successful, St. Catherine Hospital (SCH) decided to take this service to the next level.
Viry Dummermuth, who grew up in Garden City, is the new oncology nurse navigator available to patients with virtually all types of cancer, except those involving the breast. “My role is to educate and support patients and families throughout their cancer journey,” Dummermuth said. “I will answer their questions and refer them to other resources at St. Catherine and within our community.
“Cancer patients see so many different healthcare providers,” Dummermuth continued. “I want to be their go-to person for both physical and emotional support.”
Continuum of care is important for all patients but especially crucial for those with cancer, Dummermuth commented. “A nurse navigator follows the patient from diagnosis through treatment and on into survivorship,” she said. “We create detailed care plans for patients, making sure they don’t fall through the cracks.”
One priority is to alleviate patients’ stress. This includes help with paperwork, financial assistance, transportation and much more. Throughout the journey, SCH provides a holistic approach, while caring for the body, mind and spirit, Dummermuth added.
Her office is on the main floor of Heartland Cancer Center, just across the street from SCH. “I try to go to the initial appointments with all our cancer patients,” Dummermuth said. “It is easy to become overwhelmed with appointments and follow-up care. We want to provide all the available tools for our patients.”
The teammates involved in cancer care include: oncologists, primary-care physicians, radiologists, social workers, dietitians, nutritionists, surgeons, financial counselors, physical and occupational therapists, spiritual care and mental-health professionals.
Dummermuth earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2008 at Washburn University. She has worked in a variety of settings, including pediatric and adult oncology, and is certified in chemotherapy and biotherapy administration in all age groups. In addition, Dummermuth worked at Central Care Cancer Center as a chemotherapy infusion nurse prior to her new position.
Heather Wright-Renick, SCH breast program director and breast nurse navigator, echoed many of Dummermuth’ s comments about the value of patient navigation.
“Oncology patients face many challenges that begin when they are diagnosed and often remain throughout the continuum of care,” Wright-Renick said. “Patient navigation programs were developed to reduce gaps in care by improving access and timeliness. “Navigators overcome barriers and facilitate quality care, while providing support and guidance through the healthcare system,” she elaborated.
Wright-Renick noted Dummermuth is a good fit for this position because she previously worked at SCH and Heartland Cancer Center. “She is familiar with both organizations and has the specialized knowledge of caring for oncology patients,” Wright-Renick commented. “Viry is also fluent in English and Spanish, which adds to her ability to serve our diverse community.”
Scott Taylor, SCH president and chief executive officer, said the hospital is committed to providing the best team of professionals to patients and families.
“All of us at St. Catherine and Heartland Cancer Center understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis can be for the entire family,” Taylor said. “Our oncology nurse navigator is familiar not only with a patient’s condition but the entire spectrum of treatment options and support services. “Viry serves as a friend, consultant and advocate for your needs so you can focus on your health,” Taylor added. “She will assure your access to clinical care and also support you and your family as you meet challenges head-on.”
Heartland Cancer Center, located across the street from St Catherine Hospital (SCH) at 410 E. Spruce, is the new home to SCH Breast Center, the Leave a Legacy Foundation and Lymphedema Services. A Ribbon Cutting and Open House is schedule for Monday, March 6th from 4-6 pm.
About St. Catherine HospitalSt. Catherine Hospital was founded by two pioneering physicians and the Dominican Sisters in 1931 and is a Joint Commission-accredited, award winning regional health care center that provides a full-range of medical specialties in southwest Kansas. Exceptional care, extraordinary people - it’s what makes the St. Catherine Hospital difference. For more information, please visit
St. Catherine Hospital website.
About Centura HealthCentura Health connects individuals, families and neighborhoods across Colorado and western Kansas with more than 6,000 physicians and 21,000 of the best hearts and minds in health care. Through our 17 hospitals, two senior living communities, health neighborhoods, physician practices and clinics, home care and hospice services, and Flight For Life® Colorado, we are making the region’s best health care accessible and affordable in every community we serve. We believe you can inspire the people you care about to live healthier lives by encouraging them to do the little things that can make a big difference. We’re Centura Health, and we’re here for your health. For information on Centura Health or any of the facilities in our network, please visit the
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Media ContactShawna Deal
St. Catherine Hospital, Centura Health
Community Relations Coordinator
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