Breast care coordinator helps patients at most difficult time

Published: Oct. 4, 2016 at 4:19 PM CDT
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It's a diagnoses that to many, seems to come completely out of the blue.

That's why, Marshfield Clinic works to provide patients with as much support as possible to try and get them on the fastest and smoothest road to breast cancer recovery.

A breast care coordinator wears a lot of hats throughout a patient's process, including being a good listener, which-at times-is invaluable.

"Your body goes into instant shock, you don't want to believe it," Amy Kissinger, said.

At just 39, Kissinger was faced with a battle, she was not expecting.

"It's a telephone call you are never really prepared for," Kissinger said.

Working in radiology herself, Kissinger had seen the process of fighting the disease before. But, in May of 2016, the tables had turned.

Kissinger found herself leaning on other hospital staff to help navigate her down a road to recovery.

"They're there to take over when life has completely thrown you a curve ball," Kissinger said.

At this vulnerable and uncertain time, Breast Care Coordinator Amanda Boreen steps in.

"My first interaction with patients is actually right after they found out that they've been diagnosed with breast cancer. So, the physician will go over those results with them, and then in turn say, Amanda will go over things with you to get things started," Boreen explained.

"[Boreen] gets these women at the worst time of their lives and she somehow lets them know that this is going to be ok," according to Kissinger.

At any given time, Boreen works with 30-35 patients at various stages in their treatment process, managing schedules, appointments and meetings with friends and family members.

"As coordinators, we're there to address the educational psychological, social, needs of patients and their support systems," Boreen said.

Support in just about every facet of the process, which patients describe as a true gift.

"She understands that you can only take so much time off work to heal, and it starts to become financially struggling. So, she has different resources to help you with things like that. It's a great big package and she's the bow on top," Kissinger said.