Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Meet our Navigators

Ana Rosa Espinosa, DNP, MBA, RN, OCN. Director of the Site Disease Group Nurse Navigators Program

Ana Rosa Espinosa, DNP, MBA, RN, OCN is the Director of the Site Disease Group Nurse Navigators Program at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in July 2002 and has 31 years’ experience in the field of Nursing, including Critical Care, Telemetry, Orthopedics, Outpatient Surgery, General Pediatrics, Pediatric Oncology, Adult General Oncology, Neuro-Oncology, Research and Nursing Administration. Ana developed an interest in creating the robust nurse navigation program after attending several seminars on its benefits to patient’s. As cancer care has become more complex with many decisions to make, she felt that every patient should have someone they trust to carry them throughout the cancer journey. Ana holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Miami, a Master in Business, from Nova University, with Six Sigma Green Belt Certification from the University of Miami, and a Bachelors in Nursing from Barry University. She is Oncology Certified (OCN). Ana recently co-authored and published “ Defining metrics that support and justify the Nurse Navigator Position”. in the Journal of the Academy of Nurse Navigators and Survivorship . Her goal is to ensure every patient is provided with compassion, guidance and support throughout this very complex treatment journey.

Deborah Szabo RN, MSN. Nurse Manager for the Nurse Navigators Program

Deborah Szabo RN, MSN is the Nurse Manager for the Nurse Navigators Program at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in August 2005 and has 16 years’ experience in the field of Nursing, including Hematology Oncology, Surgical Oncology, Critical Care and Research, among others. Deborah developed an interest in Nurse Navigation after seeing the importance of having an experience oncology nurse guide patients and family through the entire process of diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care to improve patient outcome and quality of life. She holds a Master in Nursing Education and Bachelors in Nursing from the University of Miami and plans to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice in the near future. Deborah was recognized by her peers as being a visionary leader and patient advocate. Her goal is to eliminate barriers to health care through Nurse Navigation and assist patients at risk of being lost in the health care system from “falling through the cracks” so that everyone, regardless of income level benefits from navigation.

Vivi Carreras, RN, MSN. Nurse Navigator Thyroid and other Endocrine Tumors

Vivi Carreras, RN, MSN is the Nurse Navigator for the Thyroid and other Endocrine Tumors. She joined the department in 2006 and has 10 years of experience in the field of nursing, including Oncology, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology, among others. Vivi developed an interest in Nurse Navigation after experiencing, through her father’s illness how crucial it is for patients and their families to have a Navigator assist and support them through the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. She holds a Master’s degree in Nursing Education from the University of Miami and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Florida International University and is currently pursuing a degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Vivi was recognized by her patients and physicians for providing excellent patient centered care. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to continue to teach patients about their treatments and illnesses but mostly to better their outcomes thru continuity of care.

Dawn Albright BSN, RN, OCN, Nurse Navigator Melanoma and Related Skin Cancers

Dawn Albright BSN, RN, OCN, is the nurse navigator for Melanoma and Related Skin Cancer group. Dawn earned her BSN from University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies. She has 13 years of nursing experience in nursing, and is a member of our team since 2008. Much of Dawn’s experience is oncology focused including pediatric oncology. She has also worked in pediatric surgical special care unit, adult cardiac catheterization lab and intensive care unit. Dawn has a great interest in skin cancers and the treatments available and is a strong advocate for sun safety and teaching within the population in and out of the clinical setting. She is involved with the annual Golden Key Sunsmart 5K Run/Walk which was started by the University of Miami’s melanoma program chair to bring awareness and cancer screenings to the community. She is oncology certified (OCN) and is currently enrolled in the master’s program at the University of Miami for Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). Her goal as a nurse navigator is to be a strong patient advocate and educate the patient population on treatment options and what to expect while undergoing treatments and screenings.

Jenny Obando RN, BSN, OCN. Nurse Navigator Breast Cancer

Jenny Obando RN, BSN, OCN is one of the two Nurse Navigator’s for the breast cancer group at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in 2004 and have 15 years of experience in the field of nursing, including inpatient unit and radiation. Jenny developed an interest in Nurse Navigation when working in the radiation department. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Florida International University. Jenny has held an oncology certification from the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation for the past 10 years. Her goal as a Nurse navigator is to improve the diagnosis, diagnostic and treatment process for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients.

Tamara Gort, RN. Nurse Navigator Breast Cancer

Tamara Gort, RN is one of the two Nurse Navigator’s for the breast cancer group at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in 2013 and has 6 years of experience in the field of nursing, including oncology in patient unit, hospice and outpatient surgical oncology, among others. Tamara developed an interest in Nurse Navigation after seeing many surgical patients who wanted to know what their life would be like after surgery. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Florida International University and an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Miami Dade College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Florida International University. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to make a patient receiving a breast cancer diagnosis knowledgeable and hopeful about their diagnosis.

Mahe Otero, RN . Nurse Navigator Lymphoma

Mahe Otero, RN is the Nurse Navigator for the Lymphoma Group at the University of Miami SCCC. She rejoined the department in February, 2013 and has 10 years of experience in the field of oncology nursing. Mahe developed an interest in Nurse Navigation after working with oncology patients and observing first hand, the overwhelming feelings patients can experience at the time of diagnosis, during treatment and after treatment. As a nurse navigator she is a form of support for medical guidance as well as a contact for the patient when concerns arise. She holds an Associate Degree in nursing and is a certified chemotherapy and biotherapy provider. Mahe is currently pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Nursing. Mahe was recognized as Nurse of the Year at her previous employer. She was acknowledged for her professionalism, compassion and caring manner. She was part of the Oncology Nursing Society and is currently part of the Unit Practice Council at SCCC, which focuses on improving patient care and promotes a collaborative culture. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to provide the latest knowledge of lymphoma treatment options to her patients, in order for them to make informative decisions and that each patient is treated like family receiving the optimal care that they deserve.

Joanne Roman RN, BSN. Nurse Navigator Head and Neck Cancer

Joanne Roman, RN, BSN is the Nurse Navigator for the Head & Neck Site Disease Group at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in August of 2008 and has 13 years of experience in the field of nursing, including Pediatrics where she excelled in all Departments of Pediatrics at the Holtz Children’s Hospital/Jackson Memorial Hospital. Joanne developed an interest in Nurse Navigation after seeing the importance of care coordination on patient outcome. She holds an Associate’s degree from Miami Dade Community College and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Health Law from Nova Southeastern University. She is part of the Unit Practice Council identifying areas that promotes professional development for nurses of the University. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to increase client satisfaction and decrease frustration for the client as well as the physician by providing the necessary education in order for the client to understand their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan.

Yohanna Zaldumbide, RN. Nurse Navigator Thoracic Cancer

Yohanna Zaldumbide, RN is the Nurse Navigator for the Thoracic group at the University of Miami. She joined the department in 2001 and has 15 years’ experience in the field of nursing, including transplant, cardiology, pediatric intensive care and oncology. Yohanna deleloped an interest in Nurse Navigation after working in the Hematology Oncology clinic and seeing the importance of care coordination and the lack of guidance the patients had. She has as Associates in Science and is currently in pursuit of her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami. Yohanna has been recognized by her patients as being very dedicated and passionate about her work. She is consistently striving to exceed the patient’s expectation. Yohanna is an exceptional asset to her team.

Heleven Delgado RN MSN. Nurse Navigator Neuro-Oncology & Pituitary Cancer

Heleven Delgado, RN, MSN is the Nurse Navigator for the Neuro-oncology and Pituitary Cancer Groups at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in 2008 and has 10 years of experience in the field of nursing, including Medical Surgical and Gastroenterology. Heleven developed an interest in Nurse Navigation after taking care of oncology patients working as a gastroenterology procedure nurse and also having previously being touched by this speechless disease when dealing with a relative affected by cancer. Oncology patients need special care during all stages of the disease. Navigation allows the nurse to get involved in taking care of the total patient making a difference by coordinating all services to meet all aspects within the illness. Oncology patients face many challenges during their illness and need a caring hand to help them navigate thru all the different phases. She holds a Baccalaureate and Master’s degree in Nursing Education from the University of Miami. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to provide a caring, specific, and personalized care for all her patients.

Jennyfer Simpson RN, BScN, MD. Nurse Navigator Prostate, Testicular, Bladder, Kidney, and Unknown Primary Cancers

Jennyfer Simpson RN, BScN, MD is the Nurse Navigator for Prostate, Kidney, Bladder, Testis and Unknown Primary cancers at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in January 2013 and has 7 years of experience in the field of nursing, including radiation and medical oncology. Jennyfer developed an interest in Nurse Navigation after speaking with the nurse navigators at the University of Miami and witnessing the importance of care co-ordination on patient satisfaction. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Western Ontario.

Mary Viales RN, BSN, OCN. Nurse Navigator Gynecology-Oncology

Mary Viales RN, BSN, OCN is the Nurse Navigator for Gynecology-Oncology at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department 2005 and has 26 years of experience in the field of nursing, including research, surgical oncology and medical oncology. Mary worked in the Inpatient Unit prior to becoming a nurse navigator. Mary develops an interest in Nurse Navigation after caring for patients in the Inpatient Unit as patients always seemed to be in need of help to navigate thru the University. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Certificate in Nursing Education from the University of Miami. She also holds Certification in Oncology since 2000. Mary was nominated for Unit Nurse of the Year in 2012. She has also volunteered for many projects here at Sylvester Cancer Center. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to provide guidance and support to patients in all aspects of their care.

Joy Ness, RN, BSN. Nurse Navigator Colorectal Site Disease Group

Joy Ness, RN, BSN is the Nurse Navigator for the Colorectal Site Disease Group at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in 2000 and has more than 33 years of experience in the field of nursing, including Trauma ICU, Liver transplant ICU, out-patient gastroenterology and NIH sponsored research. Joy developed an interest in Nurse Navigation at the inception of the navigator program at Sylvester, finding the ability to coordinate and personalize each person’s medical care. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Illinois. Joy was recognized for many years of service to the University of Miami. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to ensure first rate care in a timely fashion for anyone affected by colorectal cancer.

Grisel Fernandez-Vega Martinez, BSN RN. Nurse Navigator Pancreas, Liver and other related Cancers

Grisel Fernandez-Vega Martinez, BSN RN is the Nurse Navigator for Pancreas, Liver and other related cancers at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in August 2012 and has eight years of experience in the field of oncology nursing. Grisel develop an interest in Nurse Navigation after seeing the importance of care coordination on patient outcomes. She holds a Bachelors of Science in nursing degree from the University of Miami and Associates of Science in nursing from the Miami Dade College and is currently pursuing plans to pursue a Masters in Nursing as Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). Grisel was recognized being former President of Oncology Nursing Society for the Miami Dade Chapter. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to provide patients with outstanding service in coordinating their care and providing education on their disease process and treatment.

Marjorie Salomon RN, BSN. Nurse Navigator Leukemia/Myeloma and Stem Cell Transplant

Marjorie A. Salomon RN, BSN is the Nurse Navigator for the Leukemia/Myeloma and Stem Cell Transplant Group at the University of Miami SCCC. She joined the department in April, 2014, and has 7 years of experience in the field of nursing including gastroenterology, cardiovascular and adult intensive care. Marjorie developed an interest in Nurse Navigator, after working as a nurse specialist for 4 years and experiencing firsthand the importance of care coordination at the time of a patient diagnosis, treatment and overall patient and family satisfaction. She holds a Bachelor of sciences in Nursing and currently seats on the Board of Director for the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to be an advocate and to ensure that patients and their families are provided optimal medical services. She also has a strong desire to empower every patient through education and support in order to encourage patient involvement in the decision making process regarding their treatment and overall care.

Carolina Figueredo MSN, RN is the Nurse Navigator for the Stomach/Esophageal and Sarcoma Site Disease Groups

She joined the department in 2014 and has 15 years of experience in the field of nursing, including Nursing Education, Neurosurgery, Surgical-Oncology, Medical-Surgical and Pediatric Nursing. Carolina developed an interest in Nurse Navigation after taking care of oncology patients working as a spine nurse specialist, having previously being touched by this speechless disease when dealing with relatives affected by cancer and also while closely working with the Mystic Force Foundation to help children with cancer. Oncology patients need special care during all stages of the disease. Navigation allows the nurse to get involved in taking care of the total patient making a difference by coordinating all services to meet all aspects within the illness. Oncology patients face many challenges during their illness and need a caring hand to help them navigate thru all the different phases. She holds a Baccalaureate and Master’s degree in Nursing Education from the University of Miami. Her goal as a Nurse Navigator is to provide a caring, specific, and personalized care for all her patients.

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