Buddy Check 7: Breast Care Navigator - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Buddy Check 7: Breast Care Navigator

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by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be an overwhelming and scary situation.

Now, there's a person available specifically to help people figure out "what's next?" after a diagnosis.

Kelly Flaucher has worked in the women's health field for nearly 20 years.

Now, she's a Breast Care Navigator at Covenant Comprehensive Breast Care Center.

"I've seen a lot of patients come through and it's a devastating diagnosis. Don't know where to go. I've also had family, friends, neighbors just like everyone else out there and you want to help them in any capacity. So I feel this is where I'm guided to help further beyond just the diagnosis," said Kelly Flaucher.

Covenant in Waterloo found patients expressed concern once they received a diagnosis. They were overwhelmed and didn't know what to do next.

"One of the things we want to do in my role as a navigator is to alleviate some of that concern. Try to direct them in the path they need to go. In a sense put your arm around them and say this is what we're going to do next," said Kelly Flaucher.

Mary Seitz is a nurse at the center and a breast cancer survivor. Seitz said she would have appreciated a navigator when she was diagnosed.

"I made multiple calls to nurses because we didn't understand or we didn't get this or I was by myself and don't remember, where if you have one person you can learn on you know is going to be there good, bad or indifferent. I think that's gonna be wonderful for patients," said Mary Seitz.

The navigator role is to answer questions, explain terminology and make sure patients know what resources are available.

"You have a lot of choices. You can be proactive in your own care and we encourage you to be proactive. We're just there to guide you," said Flaucher.

Flaucher said she'll be an advocate for the patient, helping the patient wind through the medical maze to make more informed decisions. She'll also be a shoulder to lean on.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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