Care designed around you

Teri Banman, Lead Nurse NavigatorWhile most people think of cancer care as more science than art, the professionals at The University of Kansas Cancer Center emphasize both with a personal approach. 

Using the best technology, physicians and researchers tailor treatment to each patient’s individual needs based on genetic, cellular and immunological information. This custom cancer therapy pinpoints an even more exacting diagnosis, which is then reflected in even more specific surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. 

Of course, the art of cancer care goes beyond the physical. Here, nurse navigators steer patients and their families through an unfamiliar world of appointments, resources, fears and questions.

Innovative partners, programs

Established and expanded by Tom and Teresa Walsh, with generous support from the Joe and Jean Brandmeyer Family Foundation, the Allen J. and Gloria Block Family Foundation, the Gerson Family Foundation and Treads & Threads, the program now has 10 disease-specific navigators – the largest in the region and one of the most extensive in the nation.

“We’re connected for a lifetime,” said Teri Banman, lead nurse navigator, who’s also developing professional standards on a national level for the Oncology Nursing Society. “I love getting to know my patients and their families – answering questions, filling in gaps and solving the puzzle.” 

Thanks to a groundbreaking gift from Uhlig LLC, patients receive a set of personalized appointment and treatment guides via overnight mail. Using the most advanced software, information technology and production capabilities, the company develops, produces and distributes custom guides that make an overwhelming amount of data relevant to each patient.  The guides, part of a pilot program partnership, feature disease-specific information, directions, schedules and notes of hope from survivors with similar cancers. They even include photos and messages from individual treatment teams. 

“With a cancer diagnosis, all brain activity stops, so having the right information at the right time is so reassuring,” said Tom Walsh. “From our navigator to our guidebooks – a load was taken off our shoulders.”

Would you like to be a part of one of the leading nurse navigator programs in the nation? You can double the impact of your gift thanks to a dollar-for-dollar matching grant of up to $100,000 provided by the Gerson Family Foundation. Funds will provide continuing education for nurse navigators. Contact Hospital Fund Development at 913-588-2800.