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Trish Dickinson said she thinks that her first reaction to the words “you have cancer” was fairly typical. “I had a ton of questions. What is the next step? Where can I go for help? Who can help me?” she said.
She is a chemotherapy patient at the Kraemer Center in the Richland Hospital. Her oncologist is Dr. Alcee Jumonville an outreach specialist who sees patients in Richland Center. Dr. Jumonville is the head of oncology at Gundersen Lutheran in LaCrosse, WI. In addition to personally visiting the Richland Hospital to see patients, Dr. Jumonville is also available via video conferencing equipment made possible by Gundersen Lutheran. For Dickinson the time and money saved by traveling to Richland Center for oncology visits and chemotherapy is a big part of the initial reason she chose the Kraemer Center at the Richland Hospital.
As her chemotherapy treatments have progressed, however, she says that her decision to utilize the smaller, local hospital has resulted in great cancer care. “Today, you can go to many places to get plugged in for chemotherapy,” Dickinson remarked. “At the Richland Hospital I have received the most loving, nurturing and understanding care I could ever ask for.” According to her, the comfort level she has with the staff was established early in the process because of the combination of compassion and knowledge they bring to their jobs.
“Everyone in the chemotherapy center has had specialized training in dealing with cancer. Their level of training and expertise in combination with their warmth and compassion is what allows them to provide great care,” Dickinson said. “As a patient it is so evident that the nurses love their jobs. For all of them, it looks to be a calling to care.”