In its first year of existence, the Navigation Program, funded in part by a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women, has assisted over 65 patients through their experience with breast cancer detection, treatment, and survivorship.
At the launch of the program, Tammy Stockero, registered and oncology certified nurse, began her role as Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator. She serves as a liaison between individual patients and the various healthcare providers required for proper diagnosis, treatment, and disease management. Serving as a consistent care coordinator throughout a breast cancer patient’s experience, she assists patients in a variety of ways including explanation of medical and cancer information; helping to schedule and keep medical appointments; arranging follow-up care; coordinating and streamlining insurance needs; and identifying local resources and appropriate support for patients.
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had an overwhelming sense of loneliness and confusion. I was so relieved to know that I had someone- in addition to my physicians - to whom I could turn to for support and guidance,” said Marrie Reaves, Breast Cancer Navigation Program participant. Marrie has completed her treatment, and she can’t be more thankful for the extra support and assistance offered through the Cancer Center’s Navigation Program.
With over 17 years of experience in oncology nursing and aiding patients and families through a cancer diagnosis, Tammy Stockero is the perfect fit to provide this individualized care and guidance to breast cancer patients in our community.
In addition, Tammy recently added to her wealth of medical and cancer knowledge by completing two certifications. The first, Oncology Nursing Society’s Certified Breast Care Nurse (CBCN), distinguishes Tammy among fewer than 550 nurses nationwide to achieve this certification which attests to her knowledge and ability to effectively provide navigation and education during prevention/detection, diagnosis, treatment, and end of life care. Awarded by the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Tammy also received designation as a Certified Breast Patient Navigator for Imaging and Cancer (CBPN-IC). These two certifications will enable Tammy to fulfill the Program’s goal of saving lives by ensuring all patients who have a suspicious finding receive resolution through timely diagnosis and treatment, while eliminating barriers to care as she assists with follow-up appointments and ensures each patient efficiently moves through the continuum of medical care and support.
Tammy’s certifications not only provide a level of specialty care for patients, but they also add to the greater medical community through her integral role in the Santa Barbara Breast Care Alliance. The Santa Barbara Breast Care Alliance (SBBCA), a “breast center without walls”, is comprised of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and plastic surgeons, along with Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Cottage Health System and Sansum Clinic to deliver a multidisciplinary approach to women with breast cancer.