Published on July 15, 2013

Some of the best cancer nurses in Delaware County

Top cancer care is at Mercy Fitzgerald

Joy HepkinsAs the cancer nurse navigator at Mercy Fitzgerald, Joy Hepkins, RN, OCN, guides patients who have had an abnormal mammogram through every aspect of their care.

At the hospital’s Mercy Cancer Center, a multidisciplinary team approach begins right from the start: A team of specialists, including the breast surgeons, oncologists and nurse navigator, have an open forum with the patient and family members.

Together, all parties discuss the plan of care and treatment procedures.

Nurse navigators at Mercy are there to answer questions, as well as schedule tests and appointments.

“Knowing what to expect really helps patients alleviate their fears,” says Hepkins. “If a biopsy is needed, I give them the information they need to understand the procedure. If it turns out that a patient does have cancer, I let her know I will be there for her throughout her journey.”

Once treatment is over, she also helps transition patients to their new role as a survivor. “Weekly support groups are so important,” Hepkins says. “There are women in my support groups who drop everything they are doing to meet.”

Guiding The Way. Nurse navigators are available to help patients diagnosed with all cancers, including breast cancer.