A diagnosis of breast cancer can be frightening and confusing for both the patient and the patient's family.
To help address those concerns, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has a breast cancer nurse navigator on staff. In her nurse navigator role, Andrea Briefs-Ferris, RN MHSA, CHPN serves as a personal advocate for breast cancer patients and assists both patients and their family members with various resource needs. The nurse navigator's responsibilities include:
- Supporting patients through their cancer treatment journey-including providing emotional support
- Helping to coordinate care, including coordinating appointments
- Providing education about both diagnosis and treatment and how to handle side effects of treatment
- Providing information so that patients can make informed decisions about their care
- Furnishing both hospital and community resources
- Supporting physicians and their office staff members in the comprehensive care of breast cancer patients, including consultation regarding resources and services
- Facilitating community outreach efforts
Briefs-Ferris also leads a Breast Cancer Support Group for breast cancer patients and survivors that meets on the third Thursday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Alice Gustafson Center on the hospital campus. The support group offers attendees an opportunity to:
- Address their mind, body and spiritual needs
- Share their experiences with others
- Get answers to common questions
- Share some humor/laughter
- Support each other
To contact Briefs-Ferris regarding her breast cancer nurse navigator services or to sign up to attend a support group meeting, please call (248) 858-3962.