Celilo Cancer Center is devoted to healing the whole person through compassionate
and skilled care providers, advanced technology and timehonored healing arts.
It is the diagnosis that everyone dreads. In fact, for years, people whispered
the “C” word. But at the Celilo Cancer Center, oncology experts
with a passion for cancer care are healing patients every day, often returning
them to the quality of life they enjoyed before.
“At the heart of our cancer program is a commitment to person- centered
care delivered through a multidisciplinary approach,” says Kim Hartley,
director of Celilo Cancer Center. From the moment someone is diagnosed
with cancer, Celilo navigators help patients follow the course of treatment
that is best for each person. Oncology care can be complex and involves
the expertise of many specialists, such as radiation oncologists, surgeons,
reconstructive specialists and more.
The Celilo Cancer Center team also includes breast, head and neck, and
oral nurse navigators. The latter role is a rarity in cancer centers but
performs an important function. “Because some patients are able
to take oral chemotherapy at home, there's a false perception that
it is not the same strength as what is administered in the infusion suite,
but it is,” says Hartley. “The oral nurse navigator proactively
calls patients taking these drugs to troubleshoot any side effects they
may be experiencing, rather than hoping that patients will call with concerns.
These medications can also be cost prohibitive, so she works with the
pharmaceutical financial navigator to find funding to pay for the drugs.”
Because cancer treatment medications can be expensive and not all patients
have coverage, the pharmaceutical financial navigator routinely seeks
out every fiscal option available to each patient, with or without insurance.
That made all the difference for Jim Hilde, who was diagnosed with a slow-growing
form of lymphoma two years ago and whose doctor felt it was time for treatment.
“A pharmacist explained the process of my care plan; and at first,
the cost appeared impossible, so I decided against treatment. I didn’t
want to leave my wife destitute,” Hilde says.
After diligent investigation into the payment possibilities for covering
the cost of his medication care, MCMC’s financial navigator lowered
Jim’s cost to one that was manageable.