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Oncology patients face many challenges that begin when they are diagnosed and often remain throughout the continuum of care. 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.
Viry Dummermuth, who grew up in Garden City, is an oncology nurse navigator available to patients with virtually all types of cancer. Her role is to educate and support patients and families throughout their cancer journey and to answer questions or refer them to other resources at St. Catherine and within our community. Continuum of care is important for all patients but especially crucial for those with cancer. A nurse navigator follows the patient from diagnosis through treatment and on into survivorship, creating 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.
Viry's office is on the main floor of Heartland Cancer Center, just across the street from SCH. 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. She is familiar with both St. Catherine Hospital and Heartland Cancer Center and has the specialized knowledge of caring for oncology patients. She is also fluent in English and Spanish, which adds to her ability to serve our diverse community.
Heartland Cancer Center, located across the street from St Catherine Hospital (SCH) at 410 E. Spruce, is also the home to the St. Catherine Hospital Breast Center, the Leave a Legacy Foundation and Lymphedema Services.
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