Meet Sentara Cancer Network Resource Center’s Newest Member in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

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Provided by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Heather Byrne, MSN, RN, was most recently a nursing leader with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. She has just transitioned to the Sentara Cancer Network Resource Center.

“I’ve been a nurse for 35 years. And it’s not just my job, it’s part of who I am,” says Heather. “I love being able to help people, to make a difference in some important way.”

The move to the Sentara Cancer Network Resource Center has been a homecoming, of sorts, as Heather started her career working in oncology.

As a Breast Cancer Patient Navigator, Heather helps patients with their diagnosis. She said, “The name “Navigator” says it best. Many people feel lost trying to figure out how to get the care they need and from whom and when and what they need to do next. When you get a diagnosis of cancer, it becomes even harder. My job is to help make it easier. So I navigate people through the maze of making appointments, understanding the scary words, anticipating the next steps, identifying needs and finding resources both during treatment and after.”

Sentara Cancer Network Resource Center

The Sentara Cancer Network Resource Center works with people from all walks of life and all income levels to provide this complimentary service. Whether that’s connecting people with support groups or helping them understand the next steps in their treatment, the navigators are there to help. “We can’t take away your cancer or fix every problem, but we can definitely make the experience more manageable.”

Heather said, “As a nurse, I have the privilege of being able to see people when they are most vulnerable. Often, I can do a little thing that makes a big difference. And every once in a while, I get to do something big that makes all the difference.”

The Sentara Cancer Network Resource Center is located in the Century Medical Building on the campus of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge. To speak with Heather or learn more about the Sentara Cancer Network Resource Center, call 703-523-1599 or visit sentara.com/cancer.

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