ALPENA, Mich — One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. MidMichigan’s new breast health navigator is making the process easier for patients.
Bonnie Goff started the new position this summer, after working at the hospital for more than 20 years. Research shows having a qualified and caring professional in this role can drastically improve patient care. Goff has statistics to back this claim.
“There definitely is data to support that patients that have a navigator with them are more compliant with follow up appointments, they’re more compliant with their treatment plans.”
The tasks of this position are expansive, but Goff’s goal as the breast health navigator is simple: to help patients successfully get through treatment and enter recovery.
“When a patient is identified as needing a breast biopsy, I actually call that patient ahead of time, review all the information that the patient would need related to the biopsy, review the specifics of the biopsy. I also work with the radiologist prior to the patient arriving to make sure that when that patient arrives here everything is in place for that procedure.”
Goff then continues to walk through the process with patients, attending appointments and recommending resources for care. One of the most significant aspects of Goff’s job is helping patients and their families navigate what can feel like a very confusing and lonely time.
“Some patients in our community have a wonderful support system, there may be other patients who may not have a great support system. So for those patients especially, it’s really important to meet with them and make sure they really understand the treatment plans.”