As the nurse navigator for the clinic, Kyla's role is unique; she's the only one! Kyla stepped into a brand new position, developing a brand new program. You don't learn how to develop programs in nursing school- it's on the job training.
Childhood cancer survivors have life-long health risks and moving their care from pediatric oncology to adult providers is a challenge. Kyla's position is funded philanthropically and she spends 50% of time at Children's Mercy Hospital in the Survive & Thrive Clinic. One of her essential job functions is to meet patients in the Survive & Thrive Clinic and assist them with the transition process over to KU.
Since the clinic began 2 years ago, the number of patients has doubled and the number of available clinic visits has doubled. In addition to increasing the size and capacity of the program, Kyla has developed other aspects of the program. Kyla has worked to establish relationships with other specialists within KU in order to know where to refer patients. She has worked hard to navigate any barriers or challenges to patients getting the care they need from other clinics. Kyla is a support and the first point of contact for new patients coming into the Survivorship Transition Clinic. From my perspective at Children's Mercy, I listen to my families express a myriad of emotions about leaving our hospital. But, when I can tell them about the special clinic just for pediatric cancer survivors at KU and then let them meet the nurse who walk the path of transition with them- I can't express their relief in words! Our survivors know they can count on Kyla to help them navigate a large adult health care system.
While the 3-4 year process of developing this program at KU has been a multi-institutional and multi disciplinary effort, Kyla has earned recognition for all of her hard work.