Published on September 10, 2019

Alpena Adds Breast Nurse Navigator and Coordinator to Cancer Care Team

Photo of Bonnie Goff, R.N., Breast Nurse Navigator at MidMichigan Medical Center - Alpena.

Bonnie Goff, R.N.
Breast Nurse Navigator

Receiving a call back on a mammogram or a diagnosis of breast cancer can quickly become overwhelming. To help direct the follow-up care for a variety of breast health issues, MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena has added a breast nurse navigator and coordinator to the comprehensive cancer care team.

Bonnie Goff, R.N, breast nurse navigator, and Anne Ross, coordinator, will partner with the MidMichigan Physicians Group general surgery and MidMichigan Health oncology teams to expedite patient care and breast cancer treatment. Goff and Ross started this summer by creating education materials and visiting area provider offices to discuss the services and benefits of the Breast Health Program for the patients.

“We are excited to add these two valuable members for our patient care team,” said Kristyn Frost, manager, Imaging Services. “A patient can take comfort in knowing that someone is with them every step of the way and can answer any questions they may have from testing, treatment options to financial concerns.”

Ross will facilitate the scheduling of additional breast imaging views when a change is noted in a yearly mammogram, as well as help to schedule breast biopsies. By having a dedicated staff member monitoring this, a significant decrease in the number of business days between testing and biopsy has been realized. This will lead to faster diagnosis and treatment for patients treated in Alpena and surrounding areas.

Breast nurse navigators have made significant impacts on patients with breast health concerns and questions. Goff focuses on providing information, counseling, financial resources assistance, breast biopsy education prior to the procedure and follow up contact afterwards.

Photo of Anne Ross, Breast Health Coordinator at MidMichigan Medical Center - Alpena.

Anne Ross
Breast Health Coordinator

Should a patient be diagnosed with breast cancer, the navigator continues to be an integral part of the patient’s breast cancer care by coordinating provider appointments, connecting with financial and transportation resources, translating medical terminology, educating patients and family members on the disease and treatment plan, and providing emotional support. Breast cancer patients are provided with a breast cancer treatment handbook and a post-surgical support camisole. At the end of breast cancer treatment, patients and their health care providers are given a survivorship care plan that summarizes their specific disease and treatment received.

All of the Breast Health Program services provided by the nurse navigator, education materials, and surgical camisole are provided to the patient free of charge.

On September 23, 2019, MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena will begin offering digital breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography) to improve the detection of breast cancer. This new technique uses the same digital mammography equipment as a regular mammogram, but captures additional layers of images through the breasts. It takes just a few seconds more than a regular mammogram. A regular digital screening mammography captures only two images of each breast, while the 3D technology captures many more images allowing the radiologists to visualize masses from normal breast tissue more clearly.

Those interested in additional information may contact Goff at (989) 356-7530 or bonnie.goff@midmichigan.org or visit midmichigan.org/breast.

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