SharonSoutheastern Med is pleased to announce that Sharon Gay, R.N.C, breast health navigator at Southeastern Med, recently completed Ohio Patient Navigation training through Susan G. Komen’s pilot program. Sharon was accepted into the twelve week course through a rigorous application process and attained a four year certification. According to Komen, the purpose of the program is to “strengthen patient navigation services and continuum of care for patients at the point of an abnormal screening result.” This certification enhances Sharon’s ability to provide cancer patients with comprehensive care throughout their journey.

As Southeastern Med’s breast health navigator, Sharon works closely with the Cancer Registry to best serve patients. She holds an essential role as contact person for referring physicians, patients, and caregivers. Sharon also provides various resources and helps evaluate clinical and supportive care services offered within Southeastern Med and in the community.

Sharon is a 1975 graduate of Ohio University Zanesville and began her nursing career at Bethesda Hospital. After marrying her husband, Danny, she spent her career at Timken Mercy Hospital, Union Hospital, Denison Hospital, and Southeastern Med. After 39 years in the nursing profession, Sharon decided to retire in order to spend time with her family and reignite her hobbies. However, after a couple months of retirement, Sharon realized that she truly missed the people she interacted with and the satisfaction she felt from nursing. “And after all,” she asserted with a smile, “you can only watch so much of The Price is Right.” In 2012, Sharon chose to return to Southeastern Med to help launch the Cambridge Regional Cancer Center. Then in March of 2014, she assumed an additional role as the Breast Health Navigator. Sharon expressed that, “Serving our community as their breast health navigator is such an honor. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many men and women, each with a unique story. Every day I am rewarded by being able to meet and learn from the constituents in our community. I have always taken pride in furthering my education and learning new ways to be a better nurse.”

Sharon can help by providing breast cancer patients with literature on coping with cancer, what to expect during chemotherapy and radiation, and dealing with side effects of treatment; by referring a person to support groups, classes, and other programs for information and support; by listening, caring, and helping you in your time of need; by identifying activities that can help ensure a better quality of life; and by assisting cancer survivors learn to self-navigate.

“From the day Sharon began her journey as our breast health navigator she has always put the needs of our constituents and community first. Sharon is always looking for ways to improve her knowledge and gain education to better assist the patients that she serves. We are very fortune in our community to have such a dedicated nurse serving our constituents,” noted Bonnie Burns, MBA-HC, BBA, Southeastern Med’s Cancer Registry manager.

It is important to know that as a breast health navigator, Sharon does not provide medical advice, does not limit your options to seek other sources of cancer information or support, does not offer opinions regarding medical treatment or choice of healthcare provider, and does not replace or interfere with the physician/patient relationship.

For more information about Southeastern Med’s Cancer Registry, visit www.seormc.org or call 740-439-8156.