Rutherford Hospital adds second patient navigator

Published 9:29 pm Thursday, February 3, 2011

From left: Jamie Ingraham, Cancer Outreach program manager; Dee Allen, RN, patient navigator; Elaine Waters, RN, patient navigator. (photo submitted)

The Cancer Care Patient Navigator Program, launched about two years ago, has been such a successful endeavor that Rutherford Hospital recently added a second patient navigator to meet the growing needs of the community. Elaine Waters, RN, joins Dee Allen, RN in this role. Having two navigators has allowed the program to expand in order to serve lung and colon cancer patients, in addition to breast cancer patients.

A cancer care patient navigator is a registered nurse who serves to provide individualized assistance to patients and their families to help them better understand their diagnosis, treatment options and available support services. At a time when patients and their families are facing an overwhelming diagnosis, they find themselves submerged in medical terms, diagnostic tests and treatment decisions they do not understand. A patient navigator in many ways is a “cancer coach” who helps patients build the skills they need and offers encouragement every step of the way. On a practical level, navigators can help connect patients with financial resources and supportive programs, help schedule appointments, accompany them on doctor’s visits, connect them with transportations services, help communicate with healthcare providers and staff and ensure that they receive timely care.

Visit the Cancer Resource Center page on Rutherford Hospital’s website at for more information. Dee Allen can be reached at 828-245-4596 or Elaine Waters can be reached at 828-245-4596 or, and Jamie Ingraham can be reached at 828-245-4596 or

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