Oncology Nurse Navigator Receives Award

Image of Shelly Wilkinson, RN

Advocating for Cancer Patients

During the 4th Annual Pink Tie Ball, hosted by Susan G. Komen Michigan, oncology nurse navigator, Shelley Wilkinson, RN, CBCN, was awarded the 2018 Denise Bohn Promise Award. The award was created to honor individuals who show the same passion and dedication toward serving their community and helping those in need as Denise once did. As a breast cancer survivor, Denise was a strong supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, formerly serving on the Michigan chapter's board of directors and as the board's vice president.

“I met Denise in 2008 and she taught me a lot. She showed me the true meaning of the idea that, ‘cancer is a word, not a sentence’ – cancer does not define you. Being able to help men and women going through breast cancer treatment is my life’s passion.”  -Shelley Wilkinson

“Shelley is always willing to go the extra mile for the patients she serves in her role at the Marie Yeager Cancer Center,” said Jann Totzke, Executive Director of Oncology Services, Lakeland Health. “In addition to educating and guiding her patients through their cancer diagnosis, she has helped provide resources for those in need of extra help or financial assistance and gone out of her way to ensure patients are able to make it to their appointments when transportation is an issue.”

Navigating Through a Cancer Diagnosis

Oncology nurse navigators at Lakeland Health offer a single point of contact for patients and their families through their journey of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Most patients, families, and caregivers face some degree of depression, anxiety, and fear when cancer becomes part of their lives. Nurse navigators assist in all aspects of patient care by:

  • Helping patients understand diagnosis and treatment options
  • Facilitating timely access to appointments and resources
  • Coordinating appointments with referring physicians and surgeons
  • Providing patients with pre- and post-surgical education and support regarding all aspects of cancer care
  • Working with patients and families on their personal needs and concerns, such as transportation, finances, cosmetic services, nutrition, and genetic counseling
  • Serving as a liaison between patients and physicians, surgeons, the Marie Yeager Cancer Center staff, and other community organizations

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