Patients from around the country seek access to UCSF genitourinary oncology for the wealth of programs and treatment options we offer. Making sure that patients can access these services efficiently is a top priority.
To help smooth the process, UCSF is conducting a one-year program to evaluate the usefulness of having a “nurse navigator” help patients access the services they need. Geronima Cortese-Jimenez, RN, MPH, holds this new position within UCSF Urology.
When a patient is referred from a community physician or from the UCSF referral call center and has not been directed to a particular faculty member, Geronima manages their entry into the UCSF system, working to make sure that appropriate referral documents and records are assembled and that the patient is directed to the services he or she needs.
Conversations with new patients may lead to a referral for symptom management or a support group as well as a consult with a physician. She also helps educate patients.
“Sometimes a patient will wonder why they need a biopsy, for example, instead of just an imaging study,” said Cortese-Jimenez. “I explain to them what information we get from each study and how it all fits together.”
Cortese-Jimenez brings eight years of oncology nursing experience to the role of nurse navigator. She has held positions at Georgetown University Hospital and Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC, where she worked as a patient educator for patients in all stages of cancer care. She is certified as an oncology nurse specialist through the Oncology Nursing Society, serves as a local chapter president of that organization, and has made national and international conference presentations on the role of oncology nurse educators.