Cancer Navigation Program

Building caring relationships is important to everyone who works at Columbus Community Hospital (CCH). It’s so important that it’s actually part of the hospital’s mission. With that in mind, CCH is constantly looking at more ways to provide individualized care to its patients. Led by Breast Health Nurse Specialist Cathy Butterbrodt, the hospital’s breast health program has been very successful. Yet Butterbrodt felt like she needed to expand her reach.

In October, CCH officially launched its Cancer Navigation Program. This program will allow Butterbrodt to work with colon, lung and breast cancer patients. For Butterbrodt, this was an easy transition.

“Nurses have always supported and guided patients with cancer through difficult times and often complex treatments,” Butterbrodt said. “Now, as a licensed cancer navigator, I can be particularly helpful to patients through all stages of diagnosis and treatment. The coordination of care at this time is so important and cancer navigators really know how to speak the language.”

As a cancer navigator, Butterbrodt will be able to assist cancer patients regarding treatment pathways, treatment options and personalized care plans. From the beginning, the navigator can make a difference by clarifying the patient’s condition and the necessary next steps. Navigators also help patients travel through the healthcare system by coordinating the care among providers and increasing the awareness of local resources for patient care.

“The aim is to empower the patient and help them have control over their own healthcare,” Butterbrodt said.

While Butterbrodt serves as the main point of contact, patients will likely see many different faces throughout diagnosis and treatment. She said her patients are lucky that most of those faces are right there at CCH. The other departments that are part of this program include Medical Imaging, Nutrition Services, Respiratory Therapy, Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy and Laboratory Services.

“It takes a team of dedicated people to make this work,” Butterbrodt said. “I’m grateful to work with people who really care about our patients.”

Shortly after starting the breast health program, Butterbrodt knew she needed to offer outside support to her patients as well. This culminated in the CCH Cancer Support Group that meets at the Columbus Public Library. This support group is open to anyone who is currently fighting cancer or is a cancer survivor. Loved ones are also encouraged to attend. Butterbrodt said the support group helps patients share their stories in a compassionate environment and lets them know they are not alone.

Because cancer care is so complicated, Butterbrodt said everyone can benefit from navigation.

“As a navigator, I help ensure that people are not only well cared for, but that they also feel cared about.”

For more information about the CCH Cancer Navigation Program, please contact Cathy Butterbrodt at (920) 623-6434.