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HealthEast Cancer Care patients work with a Patient Navigator to coordinate a path through treatment. Our Patient Navigators are supportive guides for both patients and family members.
Navigators are oncology nurses with added training in patient/family education and services.
Patient Navigators assist by:
- Making appointments with your care team (specialists, oncologists, etc.); combining appointments into one visit when possible
- Scheduling tests and treatments
- Answering your questions and explaining medical information in a way that's easy to understand
- Suggesting resources or services
- Helping you find ways to take good care of yourself
Working closely with doctors, staff and clinics, Patient Navigators help you navigate through your journey with cancer.
Meet our patient navigators
Kathy Firminger, RN, BSN
Kathy Firminger is a Patient Navigator for cancer patients. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing at Winona State University, Minnesota, and completed her clinical training at St. Mary's and Methodist hospitals in Rochester, Minnesota.
As a registered nurse, Kathy has extensive experience in direct oncology patient care in a variety of hospital settings. She helps individuals and families who are living with cancer by answering questions, counseling and suggesting other support services.
Bridget Holmen, RN, BSN
Bridget Holmen is a Patient Navigator for cancer patients. She completed her bachelor's degree in nursing at Marquette University. Her practice interests include providing support, hope and education in the field of oncology/hematology to those patients and families who are making the journey. Bridget considers it an honor to work with patients and families who, though they have begun a journey they never asked for, constantly impress her with their goodness and strength.
Tammy Ellis, RN
Tammy Ellis is a Patient Navigator for cancer patients. She attended Minnesota State University in Mankato and received a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
Tammy's background in nursing has given her extensive oncology experience in direct patient care, outpatient chemotherapy infusion, and treatment of inflammatory diseases. Her interest lies in all types of cancers, with an emphasis on prostate cancer.
Nancy Welty, RN
Nancy Welty is a Patient Navigator for breast cancer patients. She completed a bachelor's of science degree in communications disorders and an associate's degree in nursing at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
As a member of the Oncology Nursing Society, Nancy is interested in women's health issues and clinical research in breast cancer. She also serves as a facilitator of a breast cancer support group and a kids' support group.
Maria Wood, RN, BSN, OCN
Maria Wood is a Patient Navigator for cancer patients. She received a bachelor's of science degree in nursing from Clarke College as well as a certification as an oncology nurse. Maria has worked in many academic inpatient and outpatient settings, with a focus on hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant. Most recently, she worked in an outpatient treatment area focusing on solid tumors.
Maria is an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society, and her interests include patient education, cancer survivorship and a focus on patients with head and neck cancers.