Nurse Practitioner Colleen Schmidt, CNP, sees the impact of philanthropy on a daily basis in her work at the Edith Sanford Breast Specialty Clinic.

I stand with #TeamEdith: Colleen Schmidt

October 1, 2020

As a nurse practitioner at the Edith Sanford Breast Specialty Clinic in Sioux Falls, S.D., Colleen Schmidt, CNP, sees the impact of philanthropy on a daily basis.

Colleen meets with patients who want to better understand their risk for breast cancer as well as those referred by their primary care provider for breast-related concerns. Before joining the breast specialty clinic, she worked with Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Heather Karu for six years, primarily caring for patients who underwent breast surgery.

“I love the variety that this clinic gives as I work with breast health patients,” Colleen said. “When I am done visiting with a patient, I can tell I have eased some fears and anxiety, which is so rewarding.”

By raising funds and awareness for Edith Sanford, our TeamEdith community allows her to provide the very best care to her patients. Your impact can be seen in so many ways, including:

 

Genetic counseling

All new patients to the breast specialty clinic start by meeting with a genetic counselor to evaluate lifetime risk for developing breast cancer, at no additional cost.

“The patient leaves the visit with an individualized breast care plan in place, feeling informed and empowered,” Colleen said. “I’m very proud to be a part of that.”

 

Access to breast imaging

Donations help cover some of the costs of 3D mammography and breast MRIs for patients who need additional screening but do not have adequate insurance. Access to this technology helps detect cancer sooner, with better accuracy.

“That is huge,” Colleen said. “Especially for those high-risk women who need those screenings but can’t always afford them. This is especially important today for women who have experienced loss of income during the pandemic.”

 

Nurse navigation

Nurse navigators are the care coordinators for breast patients at every stage of their journey. From biopsy to diagnosis, treatment to survivorship, nurse navigators help guide patients and families through the cancer journey.

Patients never see a bill for this service, provided in part by donor support.

“Our patients rave about how wonderful the nurse navigators are,” Colleen said. “They are amazing and a great asset to our patients.”

 

Survivorship

Following breast cancer treatment, the breast specialty clinic provides ongoing care, addressing the unique physical and emotional needs of each patient. Colleen helps connect these patients with different resources and programs that are supported in part by donors.

 

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“I hope women know that their health needs shouldn’t be ignored, even during a pandemic,” Colleen said. “Women should be proactive about their breast health, never ignore anything and listen to their body. If they have any breast related concerns or want to know their risk, we are here and always happy to see them.”