At the Lee Health Cancer Institute, we know that a cancer diagnosis can be frightening for you and your family. And questions and confusion about care only add to this anxiety. That’s why we developed our Cancer Navigator program.
What is nurse navigation?
Nurse navigation is expert care that starts as soon as a patient receives a diagnosis and continues throughout the cancer journey. But navigation is also personal. Navigators provide one-on-one encouragement and education. They explain treatments, connect patients with services, and address needs during a trying time. With their specialized knowledge of specific cancers and overwhelming compassion, our navigators will be there every step of the way.
Meet Our Nurse Navigators
Liz Bachoo-Garib RN, MSN, MHA, OCN, CBCN, Breast Health Nurse Navigator
Liz began her nursing career in the tiny Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago in 1995. From there she went to Oceanside, NY before making Lee County and Lee Health her home. She has worked exclusively with cancer patients since 2002. Liz earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at SUNY Empire State College, NY and two Master degrees, Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN) and Master of Health Administration (MHA) from the University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ. She is also an Oncology Certified Nurse and a Certified Breast Care Nurse.
Veena Sharma, RN, MSN, CMSRN, OCN, Nurse Navigator
Veena currently works as Oncology Nurse Navigator for Lung Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer and Brain Tumor at the Regional Cancer Center. As a Nurse Navigator she guides patient through care continuum, educates patients about disease process, nutritional needs, treatment, side effect and how to manage side effects. Veena also looks for barriers to care assessment and finds resources based on their needs.
Rhonda Kesterson RN, MSN, OCN
Rhonda received her BSN from Carson Newman University and MSN from University of Pennsylvania. She began nursing in 1996 and has over 20 years in oncology nursing. She is originally from Tennessee then relocated to SWFL in September of 2020. Her focus as an ONC NN is to identify barriers to care such as education, psychological, transportation and financial for all LPG patients. She is passionate about oncology and serving patients and families who are faced with an oncology diagnosis. She is located in the Oncology/ Hematology LPG offices.
Jennifer Snider, RN, BSN, OCN, Nurse Navigator
Jennifer's focus is on GI / GU / Pancreatic oncology patients. Jennifer is a native to Southwest Florida and comes from a strong family of health care providers dedicated to helping others. She received her Bachelor's in Nursing from Florida Gulf Coast University, and she is Oncology Nursing certified. She has over ten years of oncology patient care experience. Jennifer is very passionate about helping her patients through their treatments and ensuring that they receive quality healthcare with compassion and understanding.
Frances Hutchinson, RN, BSN, Breast Health Nurse Navigator
Frances received her BSN at Auburn University Montgomery and started her nursing career is Auburn, Alabama where she cared for a diverse population of patients. She then relocated to Lee County, FL and began assisting the oncology population as a case manager in 2020. Frances serves our community by assisting those who are in need of breast screening and breast care. She facilitates pre-operative classes for those undergoing a lumpectomy or mastectomy. She also assists with any barriers to care (education, financial, transportation, and psychosocial) for breast cancer patients during their treatment journey.
Ruth Madwick, RN, BSN, MSN
Ruth currently works as an Oncology Nurse Navigator at the Regional Cancer Center assisting people with cancer to navigate the healthcare system and locate resources. Each person’s cancer journey is different, so individual assistance is needed in addressing barriers to care. Ruth received her BSN from Lakeview College of Nursing and MSN from the University of Illinois. She brings more than twenty years of experience in navigation services and oncology nursing and is excited to be part of the Cancer Care Team.
Julia Amundson, RN, BSN, OCN
Julia proudly joined the Lee Health Cancer Institute in 2022 as an Oncology Nurse Navigator (ONN). Oncology has always been Julia's first passion, as she has spent most of her nursing career servicing Southwest Florida's adult cancer patient population. Julia provides education about diagnosis and emotional support as patients, and their loved ones, go through the continuum of care. In addition, she advocates for a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer patients. Another facet of an ONN is helping patients with barriers to care – such as financial, medical, educational, and transportation. Julia is excited to work for an organization such as Lee Health that subscribes to the same core values of helping with these barriers to care but also include complementary resources such as cancer rehabilitation, nutrition, support groups, and counseling.
Lee Health Regional Cancer Center
8931 Colonial Center Dr Fort Myers, FL 33905
Outpatient Center at the Sanctuary
8960 Colonial Center Dr Fort Myers, FL 33905Fax: (239) 424-1439
Bonita Health Center
3501 Health Center Blvd Estero, FL 34135