DCH Foundation Hosts "Navigating the Stretch" Kentucky Derby Gala

On Saturday, May 6th, Daviess Community Hospital Foundation held the 3rd Annual “Navigating The Stretch” Kentucky Derby Gala. Over 90 people attended the event with the purpose of raising money to support the Patient Navigator Program at DCH.

Women were encouraged to wear hats or fascinators similar to those worn at the Kentucky Derby race at Churchill Downs. Men were also encouraged to wear a hat or tie that reflected the theme. “I am amazed at the creativity and participation by our guests,” remarked Angie Steiner, Foundation Director. Prizes were awarded for best Ladies Derby hat best Men’s Derby tie and/or hat. Winners were Sam Green for best hat/fascinator and Judge Greg Smith for best tie/hat. A photographer was on hand to capture the fun as guests posed in their Derby attire.

Guests were able to stay warm and dry while watching the 143rd running of Kentucky Derby on live television. “Louisville received a downpour prior to post time and many of the spectators were wearing rain gear,” stated Steiner. “We had the luxury of watching the race here in Washington at the Moose Lodge.”

Sharon Mead, RN OCN and Patient Navigator for DCH spoke to the guests about her role. “Hearing the word “cancer” can be very overwhelming,” stated Mead. “There are many decisions you are suddenly required to make along with physician appointments, lab tests and scans. Understanding treatment options your doctors recommend is important to make informed decisions regarding your care. That’s where I come in.”

“When patients and their families are facing the challenge of their lives, they must navigate and manage a complex healthcare system,” Mead explained. “The Patient Navigator acts as a guide, educator, liaison and advocate for the newly diagnosed cancer patient and their family. The navigator works with patients and families to help them at many points along the health care continuum. This may include education on the specific disease, insurance questions, finding physicians, explaining the treatment and care options available, and much more. The navigator is the consistent caregiver through the cancer journey and is a source of information and support for the patient and family.”

“DCH is fortunate to have Sharon Mead, RN OCN in this role,” said Dr. Thomas Waits, Oncologist. “Sharon guides each patient through their journey as a single point of contact to answer any questions or listen to concerns of the patient and caregivers.”

Being a two time cancer survivor, Sharon truly understand some of the anxiety a patient may experience. She helps patients who have issues with transportation, insurance, FMLA forms or special needs such as wigs and prosthetics. Most importantly, she is a source of support through what can be a very difficult time in a person’s life.

Sharon and Dr. Waits are part of the DCH team of medical professionals including our surgeons, radiologist, pathologist, nurses and other ancillary staff. The DCH team strives to give the best care possible to every patient, every time.

The Daviess Community Hospital Foundation has made a commitment to help provide philanthropic support to the Cancer Navigator Program,” stated Steiner. “We are grateful to those who supported this program through the Derby Gala this year and look forward to next year’s Gala.”