La Crosse Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic Health System: Franciscan Healthcare - LaCrosse

La Crosse Cancer Center

La Crosse Cancer Center at Mayo Clinic Health System: Franciscan Healthcare - LaCrosse

Cancer Center
Mayo Clinic Health System: Franciscan Healthcare - LaCrosse
La Crosse, Wisconsin
United States
Kathi Cermak, RN, Sue Newman, SW, Alicia Reed, RN, Amber Stinson-Wundrow, RN, Angie Seberg, RN, Deb Schultz, RN, Jessica Underkofler, RN, Joanne Lynch RN, Kathleen Graham, CNS, Kelly Beach, LPN, Kelly Colsch, RN, Kim Oliver, RN, Kristen Lindblom, RN, Marianne Florin, RN, Pam Fellenz, RN, Rachel Bishop, RN, Director, Roxanne Larson, RN, Samantha Kiedrowski, RN, Sarah Prusha, RN, Tracy Konopecki, RN, Denice Mack, CMA, Jessica Garbers, CMA, Melinda Tracy, Patricia Donahue, Sara Boynton, Tanya Johnson, Susan Leifer, Heather Karow, Lisa Fawcet, Nella Adams, Teresa Harper, Brittani Buchner, RTT, Connie Wermager, RTT, Elizabeth Mitchell, C.M.D., Emerald Rabe, RTT, Kristin Vix, RTT Sabrina Klein, RTT, Lisa Undahl, RTT, Jean Schaffer, Erin Johnson, Pt Serv Rep, Jody Spreuer, Pt Serv Rep, Kari Showen, Pt Serv Rep, Nancy Vonderohe, R.Ph., Maribeth Becker, C.Ph.T.

I have been blessed by this group of people in multiple ways. First, I experienced their love and support as a patient where every one of them touched not only my heart but the hearts’ of my loved ones and caregivers. I never felt like it was just a “job” to any of them. Their care was always gentle and kind.  I was treated more like a friend than a sick person. I can honestly say, though I was glad to be well, I remember thinking how much I would miss them. As it turns out that isn’t the end of the story but just the beginning.

Several years passed (6) and I found myself interviewing in the very place I had spent so much time in the past. I accepted the job and was once again in close contact with the cancer center nurses; only this time they were my colleagues. It didn’t take long to learn that not only were they caring nurses but truly living the life of caring, understanding, loving and generous people in every aspect of their lives. On a daily basis, I see them put other people’s needs before their own. When they are tired, they still help wherever needed without complaint. If they learn of a need with a patient, they do whatever they can to fill it.

A good example of this would be our Oasis fund. This fund helps our patients with the small day to day things to the larger more high-stress expenses that might arise.

Examples of what the fund has covered;

A breast cancer patient who was a nursing student and a mother of 5 whose van broke down while she was having treatment.  She could not afford the repairs and that van was the only way she could transport all 5 of her kids.  Our Oasis fund provided her with the money to have her vehicle repaired.

A patient who couldn’t afford her mortgage during her treatment, so our Oasis fund made the mortgage payment for her.

A patient who needed to quit smoking but couldn’t afford the 3-month smoking Cessation medication so our Oasis fund paid for that as well.

Helped several patients by purchasing lock boxes to keep their medications safe from family members with drug dependency problems.

Assisted in paying for hotel lodging for patients who could not afford to stay in town for treatments which allowed them to go and rest rather than making long trips back and forth.

We also provide patients who have been identified as needing help with Walmart or Kwik Trip gift cards so they can purchase necessities when they are using their money for medical charges or medications.

I could keep going on and on with all the ways our Oasis fund has and continues to help our patients.  If there is any need identified they try to help however they can to help alleviate some of the stresses that accompany an illness such as cancer. When the fund gets low, we have events like bake sales, walks, or raffle ticket drawings to raise money to help keep the Oasis fund alive.  These are all things that are done over and above what is “expected”.  To think that all of this good is just one of the things being done down here to help our patients to know they are truly cared for.

What I find amazing is that I could write something like this up for every single person down here without exception on things each and every one of them has done that shows how much they all care.  I really meant it when I said I love my work family.

I could go on all day about all the great things our nurses do, all the patients they touch but I think all that really needs to be said is they are amazing angels on earth, Whether you are a patient, co-worker or stranger in the hall. I look forward to working with this group for a long time! I have never experienced working with such a great group of people. That includes every person in the cancer center.