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Published on September 30, 2013

New Social Worker, Clinical Research Nurse – KishHealth System Cancer Center

September 30, 2013

Stephani Placek, RN, is the new clinical research nurse at The Cancer Center. Her role is a dual one as she is both a clinical trials nurse and a nurse navigator.

Stephani said, “As a clinical trials nurse, if a patient is determined to be eligible for an oncology trial, I explain clinical trial participation to the patient including risks and benefits. After obtaining the patient’s informed consent, I coordinate the protocol treatment with the infusion nurses and pharmacist, and submit the necessary data to the investigating physician. I keep our office up to date on regulatory requirements. I am responsible for protecting the trial patients’ records and for following up with them long-term.”  

“As a nurse navigator,” she continued, “I assist lung and head/neck cancer patients with their difficult journey from diagnosis to survivorship. Jodi Diehl is our breast and gynecological nurse navigator. Together, we help patients overcome barriers to care (such as transportation, coordination of appointments, taking notes during physician appointments), we answer questions, provide emotional support, and provide information about resources for cancer patients. We also help coordinate referrals to Loyola for specialized care.”

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Victoria Peyton, MSW, is the oncology social worker at KishHealth System Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Hospital.

“My role as a social worker is to offer patients a safe place to be themselves and while they share a diagnosis by name; I want them to know that I see them as more than a patient, but a unique person,” said Vickie. “My goal is to work together as a team, with their families, to find those barriers that prevent them from having quality of life for ‘this period in time that life is not going so well.’”

She continued, “There is something so rewarding about working with those who suffer from cancer and other serious illnesses. I have had the wonderful privilege learning about the incredible demands that are placed on a patient’s life when illness hits their world. I have shared the fear and the unknown of uncertainties that might come. I have felt their despair as they face disruption in their everyday lives. They battle the fight to stay well; to stay alive. But what has been the most inspirational to me is that I have seen their courage and strength. Hope replaces fear. They teach me what true victory is.”

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