McHENRY – Centegra Health System has created a new position, oncology nurse navigator, to help patients through their journey with cancer.
The job requires providing education and resources to help patients make decisions and coordinate care in collaboration with their caregivers.
Jessica Sima of McHenry recently was hired for the position. Sima is a master’s prepared nurse with about 20 years of hospital-based experience, including bedside nursing and case management. Her new position has her based in the Centegra Sage Cancer Center at Centegra Hospital – McHenry.
“I was excited when I got hired because I get to work in the community that I live in,” Sima said. “And I felt my case management background would give me an edge on being a quality navigator for the community.”
Sima said her experience in case management and care coordination will allow her to help patients overcome their health barriers. “I’m helping people access timely care and orientate them to the different experts in the specific area they may need to encounter,” Sima said. “I’ll help bridge the gap between multiple providers and help with communication and just help provide advocacy to the patient in line with what their goals are. My role is not cancer specific.”
Sima will meet with physicians on a weekly basis to discuss patients’ cases and make sure they are getting optimal care. Sima also will get together with Centegra’s breast care navigator, Karla Hernandez, to review cases where a patient might have met with Hernandez at Gavers Breast Center and need to be sent to Sage for a specific treatment type.
“We want to make a very seamless transition for the patient,” Sima said. “At the Sage Cancer Center, it’s not just physicians and nurses. Patients have a whole support team here that can help patients through their treatment.”
Rachel Sebastian, president of Centegra Hospital – McHenry, said the position was created after seeing the success and benefits of having a breast cancer navigator at Centegra.
“We know how difficult going through cancer can be and the struggles they go through, so we know it’s important to have that critical expert that they can call and talk to,” Sebastian said. “We created this position for patients and to enhance their care.”