A cancer diagnosis is often an overwhelming and frightening experience. Our nurse navigators help guide patients by working to assist with entry into the cancer care system and identifying any barriers that may exist.
The most important role of the nurse navigator is to ensure that patients with suspicious findings get to see the right physicians and receive timely diagnosis and treatment. Our nurse navigators establish and maintain communication between patients, families, physicians, and the healthcare system.
Nurse navigators can assist in many ways:
- Provide emotional support and information on what to expect
- Coordinate with the patient’s physician and other care providers to streamline care
- Help patients and families to understand their diagnosis and treatment options
- Coordinate appointments and tests to avoid delays to treatment
- Help patients and families access support systems and services
Our goal is to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes. Our nurse navigators are here to help.
Helen Brownson, RN, BSN, OCN
Head & Neck Specialty Nurse Navigator
Helen is the certified nurse navigator for the head and neck population, coordinating care for our patients from diagnosis to survivorship. Her role is to help remove barriers and obstacles that may prevent patients receiving the appropriate care and to assist on the challenging journey of people with cancer, their families, friends and the Central Florida community in general, even if they have not been touched by cancer. Her work with head and neck patients includes cancers of the oral cavity, nasal cavity, larynx, thyroid, and all skin cancers from the neck upwards, including Melanoma.
Helen is originally from England, and immigrated to the United States (US) in 2006. She has worked with oncology and palliative care patients for more than 20 years and is oncology certified in the UK and the US. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Oncology/Adult-Gerontology at University of South Florida. She received the 2014 Excellence in Nursing Award for ‘doing a common thing in an extraordinary way.’ She also completed nurse navigator training at the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute.
Helen enjoys relaxing with her husband and three Dobermans. She also enjoys cooking and shopping, and watching the St. Louis Rams.
Learn more about our Head and Neck Center.
Laura Martin, RN, MS, CBCN
Breast Care Specialty Nurse Navigator
Laura is the certified nurse navigator for the breast care center, coordinating care for our patients from diagnosis to survivorship. Her role is to help remove barriers and obstacles that may prevent patients receiving the appropriate care, and to provide assistance and support to patients and families on the challenging cancer journey. Her work in the breast care center includes: providing emotional support, educating patients and families on diagnosis, treatment options, and information on what to expect, streamlining care, and connecting patients and families with available resources as needed.
Laura is originally from Pennsylvania where she received her BS in Nursing from Pennsylvania State University and her MS in Nursing Education from York College. She moved to Florida in 2011. She has worked in women’s health and oncology for 20 years in the roles of inpatient staff nurse, clinic nurse, and educator. She is certified as a Breast Care Nurse through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation and participates in many community education events in Central Florida to promote breast cancer prevention, early detection and awareness.
Laura enjoys relaxing with her husband and family at home by the pool or at the beach. She also enjoys camping, photography and rooting for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.
Learn more about our Breast Care Center.
Megan Lockwood, RN
Thoracic Specialty Nurse Navigator
Megan Lockwood, RN, is a registered nurse and certified nurse navigator with The Rod Taylor Thoracic Care Center at UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health. As a nurse navigator, Megan works with patients who have been diagnosed with lung cancer to make sure they receive timely, coordinated care. Beginning with the your diagnosis, her role is to ensure that you receive the best care possible throughout your treatment.
Megan earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Kentucky University in 2010 and began her nursing career as a floor nurse on a cardiopulmonary step-down unit in Paducah, Kentucky. She then moved to Central Florida and worked as a clinic nurse at the Cancer Center before accepting her new position.
Learn more about our Rod Taylor Thoracic Care Center.