At MSK, supportive and palliative care is provided by an expert and highly collaborative team. This includes doctors, nurse practitioners, office practice registered nurses, social workers, chaplains, and clinical pharmacists.
The specialists in our Supportive Care Service collaborate not only with the cancer care teams but also with experts in neurology, anesthesiology, critical care, and other areas. We are part of the care for all of our patients from the time they are first diagnosed with cancer.
Doctors across MSK ask for our help in addressing symptoms, discussing patients’ goals for care, and planning for changes in where care is given.
The Supportive Care Service is part of the Division of Medical Oncology within the Department of Medicine.
The most gratifying aspect of being a nurse practitioner in supportive care is helping patients manage their symptoms. In this way, they are able to improve their overall quality of life. In supportive care, we treat the entire patient as well as their family. I have spent most of my career at MSK caring for people with gastrointestinal cancers. My background is in surgical, medical, and radiation oncology.
We get to know patients and their families under the most difficult of circumstances. Helping identify their priorities and advocating for them is incredibly meaningful to me. I am committed to bringing the highest quality supportive care to all of MSK’s patients from the time of diagnosis. I believe this is the responsibility of every provider. I have an interest in teaching, particularly with a focus on empowering primary oncology nurses and medical teams, as well as in project and program development.
The most meaningful aspect of supportive care is accompanying patients and their families along their cancer journey, no matter the diagnosis or prognosis. I strive to replace the fear of a cancer diagnosis with hope.
For me, the most meaningful aspect of supportive care is providing people who are seriously ill with relief for their pain and suffering. Helping people with advanced cancer and the people who care for them manage the many symptoms related to treatment and disease is very rewarding. I know patients will not always remember what I tell them, but I hope they will remember how I made them feel — respected and supported.
I feel privileged to build meaningful, caring relationships with patients and their families. In addition to standard care for symptom management, I also believe strongly in evidence-based drug-free ways to help improve patients’ quality of life.
It is an extraordinary experience to be part of a team that identifies the best care plan for each patient. This is done with deep mutual interest in the patient’s physical, psychological, and spiritual needs. In a world where all human beings need kindness and nonjudgmental attention, it is an honor to provide a place where any person may feel valued, safe, and cared for, in all ways possible. As an interfaith chaplain, I find meaning in attending to all patients, whether religious or nonreligious. I seek the connection or spiritual practice that most speaks to the patient. I assist patients in practicing their faith, or if they are nonreligious, I bring peace, affirmation, and comfort to these individuals.
I appreciate the team approach to supportive care. It fully utilizes the skill sets of all the professional and clinical caregivers on the Supportive Care Service. Together, we are building a model for improving communication and integrating care across MSK.
I appreciate being a part of an interprofessional team that offers treatment information and recommendations to support patients, their families, and care teams. I also value the benefits of non-drug-based therapies that may be available for some patients.