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Cancer navigation

Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, which houses the area’s only dedicated inpatient oncology unit, employs cancer-specific nurse navigators to help cancer patients understand their diagnosis, treatment and follow-up plan while they are hospitalized.

Maggie Ward, APRN, an oncology-certified and advanced genetics nurse, was the first inpatient cancer navigator at the Via Christi Cancer Institute. Today, she leads Via Christi’s Cancer Outreach and Risk Assessment program, or CORA, which includes both cancer and insurance navigators on its team.

Serving with Ward are:

  • Cancer navigator Lisa Schmidt, RN, who primarily works with patients with head and neck cancers
  • Cancer navigator Lyn Pittman, RN, who works with the lung cancer screening program
  • Insurance navigators Lyndsey Korkki, Shannon Little, Nora Martinez, Judy Murray and Lucy Torres

Via Christi also was the first—and continues to be the only—area provider with a dedicated outpatient cancer nurse navigator.

Terri Leschuk, RN, began working alongside Ascension Medical Group breast care specialist Patty Tenofsky, MD, in 2007, helping breast cancer patients from the moment of diagnosis to develop and implement their plan of care.