Heather Heuer, Lung Cancer Patient Navigator at UP Health System – Marquette, isn’t letting a global pandemic get in the way of caring for her patients. It’s not her style to step away when things get tough.
“You have to make do with where you’re at in life and make the best of it,” she said when asked about how she’s coping with caring for patients as Cancer and COVID-19 collide.
For the past nine years, Heather has been working at UP Health System – Marquette, helping cancer patients navigate from diagnosis to survivorship. In her mind, every patient is an essential patient—and even an unprecedented pandemic won’t change how she approaches caring for at-risk lung cancer patients.
COVID-19 has changed the way Heather works, but it hasn’t affected the way she puts patients first. She stepped up to the challenge and began supporting patients remotely. “We are able to see more patients now via telehealth than before,” she said. “We’ve also changed the way we see patients who come into the office by strategically placing chairs to maintain social distancing and doing everything we can to limit multiple trips to the hospital.”
Heather also mentioned that she is using tools like Eon’s Essential Patient Report (EPR) to help prioritize and manage patients right now. Every week, she reviews her EPR, which segments patients based on lung-cancer risk. Then reaches out to patients and their physicians who need immediate follow-up.
“These reports have changed my approach to scheduling patients,” she said. “The report helps us prioritize patients based on probability of risk.”