High­ Quality Care for Mind, Body & Soul

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.