Gratitude & Impact Newsletter

October 2020

Meet the Cancer Resource Center Team

Cancer Resource Center Staff wearing masks.

L to R - Logan Pejsha Davis, Secretary, Whitney Atwood, Cancer Care Navigator, Sarah Heikens, Director Oncology Services & ICCU, Angela Long, Cancer Resource Center Coordinator, Michelle Reichert, Cancer Care Navigator, Dr. Eugene Glass, Clinical Psychologist

When you or your loved one is diagnosed with cancer, the questions and emotions can be overwhelming.  What are my treatments going to be like? Will I lose my hair? Who will help my family when I’m not feeling well? Since 2003 the Cancer Resource Center (CRC) staff has been instrumental in helping those patients and their families find helpful resources and compassionate support they need during a difficult time. They work with patients to provide services such as wig fittings, genetic risk education, counseling services and group exercise classes, which are all provided complimentary due to the generosity of donors to the Mary Greely Foundation. Let’s meet the team! 

Sarah Heikens, MSN, MPA, RN, OCN, NE-BC is the director of the CRC and oversees the team. Sarah has been with Mary Greeley Medical Center 32 years, 22 of them in Oncology. Sarah says, “Working with cancer patients is extremely rewarding.  The treatments have improved so much over my career.  But, the best part hasn’t changed; cancer patients are strong, courageous and faithful in their often difficult journey. They have taught me so many life lessons that I immensely value.”

Angela Long, RN, BSN, CBCN, CN-BN, has been a nurse for 34 years, 26 of those years at Mary Greeley and eight in the CRC. Angela’s primary roles include patient navigation and genetics risk education. As a Cancer Care Navigator, Angela connects patients with resources to support their journey through treatment. As a Cancer Genetics Risk Educator she assists patients with a cancer diagnosis, and those at high risk, to decide if genetic testing is right for them. Angela says, “I am extremely fortunate to work with our team of professionals here at the Cancer Resource Center. The entire team is dedicated to promoting wellbeing for our patients and making a difficult diagnosis just a little bit better.”

Whitney Atwood, BSN, RN, OCN has been a nurse for six years with just over a year at Mary Greeley in the Cancer Resource Center. Whitney is also a Cancer Care Navigator, primarily working with prostate, lung & colon cancer patients.  She is also the Survivorship Coordinator helping patients after their treatments with services such as clinical psychologists, nutrition referrals and physical activity programs. Whitney says, “It is extremely rewarding to have the opportunity to support patients going through this challenging time. Our oncology patients inspire us every day with their strength and resilience!

Michelle Reichert, BSN, RN, OCN is the newest Cancer Care Navigator joining the CRC team in July 2020. However she has been with the Mary Greeley’s Oncology department for 13 years. Michelle works primarily with breast cancer patients, offering them support and education about their cancer and treatment, finding solutions to any barriers they may have such as transportation and providing a survivorship care plan after treatment has been completed.  Michelle says - “Over the past 13 years, I have cried with patients, celebrated with patients, and grown to know them and their families through repeated appointments and hospitalizations.  The truth is that it is one of the most rewarding careers that I can imagine.  I love that I have the opportunity to get to know my patients and be a source of support to them throughout the roller coaster of living with cancer.  They truly inspire me!”

Dr. Gene Glass, joined the CRC team in December of 2019 as their Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Glass has years of experience helping both in-patient and outpatients. When someone is diagnosed with cancer, their health is not the only stress they can have. Many deal with family problems, financial strain, or negative self-talk. Dr. Glass says - “I decided to work with cancer patients because I knew it would be challenging and rewarding at the same time. The best part of working with these patients is seeing the progress they make after receiving a diagnosis of cancer. Cancer patients are so resilient in facing their challenges and enduring difficult treatments. They instill hope in their caregivers and I take strength from seeing how these patients respond with strength to their difficult situations.”

If you have visited the Cancer Resource Center in the past two years, Logan Pejsha Davis, is probably the first person who greets you. Her official title is Secretary but her co-workers will tell you she is a driving force in the CRC. Logan communicates daily with patients, scheduling and informing them of the services available through the CRC. She also facilitates wig appointments, helping patients choose a wig that fits comfortably and encourages confidence again. Logan says, “When a patient puts their wig on and tells me it looks just like their hair, I feel like I’ve helped, in some small way, to make them feel like themselves during an otherwise overwhelming journey.”

This team of six extraordinary people work together to bring the best possible care and compassion to patients during some of their most difficult times. 

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