HOUSTON (April 12, 2017)

Four oncology nurse navigators with Memorial Hermann Health System are the first nurses in Houston, and among the first in the nation, to become certified by the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN). The AONN is the largest national specialty organization dedicated to improving patient care and quality of life by defining, enhancing, and promoting the role of oncology nurse and patient navigators. This was the inaugural year for the certification program, which tested the nurses’ competencies in areas like community outreach, coordination of care, patient advocacy, and survivorship support.

The following nurses received the specialized certification:

  • Carolyn Allsen, BSN, RN, OCN, ONN-CG
  • Sylvia Brown, MSN, RN, OCN, CNL, ONN-CG
  • Jessica Burgess, BSN, RN, OCN, ONN-CG
  • Deidra Teoh, MSN, RN, OCN, ONN-CG

Working regionally, a team of oncology nurse navigators service all eight Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers, ensuring oncology patients throughout the Greater Houston area receive the specialized attention.

“We know what we do is important, and we want our patients to feel comfortable coming to us with all their questions. We hope this extra level of certification will help patients feel even more confident working with us to coordinate their care within the Memorial Hermann cancer network,” says Burgess, oncology nurse navigator at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center.

The role of an oncology nurse navigator is to assist cancer patients in the transition from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. Not only do they serve as the primary resource for newly diagnosed cancer patients, but they also assist with coordinating care, providing emotional and educational resources, and connecting patients with community resources such as CanCare and the American Cancer Society.

“When a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, it can be a shock both for the patient and his or her family. As a nurse myself, I am proud of the efforts of all of our oncology nurse navigators to help patients during what can be an overwhelming experience. This certification from the AONN is further proof of their dedication to patients,” says Charles “Chuck” Stokes, MHA, RN, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Hermann.

All Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers are approved by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and a collaborative team approach for coordinating the best available treatment option for each patient. With leading-edge technology, clinical excellence, and compassionate patient-centered care, Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers offer a diverse menu of innovative treatment options and therapies in locations around the Greater Houston area.