SCAN
NCH
December 2012

Community Advisory Council supports goals and mission of NCH's Breast Program

For more than six years, the Breast Program Community Advisory Council has provided the NCH breast program (and Breast Center) with insight and perspective directly from community members affected by a breast cancer diagnosis. Through the years, the Council has championed new and innovative ideas – including the development of the breast health specialist/navigator role – with the overarching goal to elevate and support the Breast Program mission: to provide state-of-the-art breast care for women in northern Illinois.

NCH Breast Center Manager Christine Masonick, RN, explains that NCH formed the Council to connect with the community in a very personal, practical and mutually beneficial way. "Since NCH is a community-based hospital, we felt we would have strong support if we issued a call to breast cancer survivors, caregivers and women interested in advocacy," Masonick says.

The Council ensures that the interests and values of patients and families within the community are heard and incorporated into the goals and objectives of the Hospital's breast program. In 2006 committee members hit the ground running and established three main goals, each of which has been adopted into the Hospital's breast program:

  • Develop a breast cancer support group – a monthly support group provides women diagnosed with breast cancer with resources and a sense of community
  • Introduce same-day mammographic results – with Results by Requests at NCH women can receive results at the time of their visit.
  • Support patients with nurse navigators – today, experienced breast nurse navigators are available to guide patients through the entire continuum of care, from diagnostic services and treatment to follow-up care and wellness management.

What's more, the Council has supported the development of key marketing messages, served as a focus group for the breast program's strategic business plan, coordinated survivor celebrations, developed customer services initiatives, evaluated quality measures and participated in research studies.