Christina Mullen, Breast Health Navigator at Sky Ridge
Making a Difference...
Christina Mullen, RT (R)(M), CBPN-IC attended the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in 2002 where she studied Sports Health and Wellness with an emphasis in leadership studies. She earned her certificate in Radiology and Mammography from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2007 and 2008. Christina came to Sky Ridge in 2010 after working with multiple HCA facilities in Las Vegas as a mammographer, focusing on patient navigation, diagnostic studies and invasive breast procedures. She completed her certification at the National Consortium of Breast Centers where she received her CBPN-IC.
Christina has been integral in developing the navigation department at Sky Ridge. Her commitment to her patients transcends to the community, where she is actively involved in providing support to single parent families, participating on Relay for Life committees and bringing breast cancer awareness to college campuses.
Women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer are awash in emotions and a wave of appointments and foreign medical procedures, and can feel a little like a ship lost at sea. Christina's job is to call them as soon as they hear the diagnosis and offer her help in navigating through the maze. As cancer diagnoses and treatments become more complicated, the trend toward navigators in the healthcare system is growing.
"With breast cancer, you can be seeing multiple physicians for a variety of procedures," Mullen says. "I'm the point person, the piece within the healthcare puzzle that connects everything together."
Sometimes, women just need help making or keeping their appointments. Sometimes they face barriers: single moms with no child care; women with no health insurance; patients with no transportation. Merritt is trained to help them work through any barrier and to find them support.
"Some patients just need encouragement throughout their treatment," Mullen says.
In addition to support, our Breast Health Navigators offer education and resources. Mullen uses the American Cancer Society resources to help educate patients about their disease, treatments and other issues: such as diet, exercise and support groups. Mullen says she became a navigator because her goal was to make a difference in women's health. "I just take care of them. When their treatment is done, they look back and say: I had someone holding my hand the whole way through. They are so grateful, and I find that immensely rewarding."