Patient navigators at Kalispell Regional Healthcare work with patients and their families to assist with the different needs associated with a cancer diagnosis. They act as a patient advocate and guide in connecting patients with resources such as financial, travel and lodging assistance, and psychological support. The patient navigator is a familiar face during the many appointments so that patients feel comfortable reaching out when issues, questions or unknowns arise through cancer treatment.
Kim Grindrod, BSN, RN, OCN, CBCN
Kim Grindrod began her role as the breast nurse navigator in June 2011, but was a nurse in cancer services for many years previous to that. As an advocate for patients and a constant point of contact, Kim provides education and emotional support as well as connecting patients and families with community resources when needed. She loves all of the patients and families she meets, while being part of the oncology team as an advocate for patients.
Jesse Arneson, RN, BSN, OCN
Jesse Arneson worked as an oncology RN for seven years and gained a wide knowledge of oncology care and resources. As a navigator, Jesse advocates for patients to receive the best possible care, provides education and connects them with available resources. What he likes most about his job are the people he has the honor of meeting and assisting every day. Jesse’s primary focus is in the area of gastrointestinal, gynecological, genitourinary and hematological malignancies.
Andrea Gessner was a practicing pathologist in Phoenix, Arizona, prior to moving to the Flathead in 2003. She took time off from medicine to raise a family, and returned to work only to realize she wanted to be out of the lab, working directly with patients. She especially enjoys getting to know each patient and family, and considers it a privilege to participate in their care. She hopes the oncology navigation program will make cancer treatment just a little bit easier for patients, families and providers.
Madison Evans, MSW, LCSW
Madison Evans was born and raised in Montana. She graduated from the University of Montana with a bachelor’s in psychology and human and family development and most recently with a master’s in social work. Madison was drawn to working in a hospital for personal and professional reasons. She witnessed firsthand how our physical health and mental health are intricately entwined and the effects they can have on the patient and family. She wants to be another support for patients and their families when they find themselves in uncharted waters. Her role as oncology social worker gives her the opportunity to work with all oncology patients and their families. By helping with practical problems like lodging and transportation as well as providing emotional support through one-on-one and group counseling for the patient and family members, Madison’s goal is to ease the stress for everyone involved so they can focus on what’s important to them and their healing.