Support Services Team

Shirley Hillman, RN, BSN, OCN Lung Cancer Nurse Navigator

Phone: 707-445-8121 ext. 6318
Fax: 707- 269-3684

Shirley Hillman has been in nursing for over 30 years, having graduated from College of the Redwoods and Regents College with her Bachelor’s degree in nursing. She has worked locally for her entire career in all parts of the county and in various nursing services. These include medical-surgical, pediatric, teaching, home health, and, most recently, in several departments in public health nursing. She has nursed all populations, from premature infants to elders and hospice patients and continues to love her nursing career. She came to St. Joseph Hospital, Cancer Support Services, in May of 2016, taking on the position of Nurse Navigator for lung cancer patients. Shirley is excited to be back at St. Joe’s in this capacity, with a long-term desire to work in cancer services. She provides navigation services to her lung cancer patients which include:

  • Assisting with all aspects of diagnosis and treatment
  • Scheduling of appointments
  • Referrals and emotional support
  • Symptom management
  • Consultation with the multi-disciplinary team, both in and out of the hospital
  • Provision of pre-treatment chemotherapy education to new patients beginning treatment in our chemotherapy infusion suite
  • Maintenance of a navigation data system to help monitor and maintain the highest quality of service

Jessica Howard, RN, MSN, Head & Neck Cancer Nurse Navigator

Phone: 707-445-8121 ext. 5812
Fax: 707-269-3864

Jessica Howard has been in the nursing field for 16 years and has a wide range of nursing expertise. She graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and is also a Sonoma State graduate where she received her Master’s degree in nursing. The majority of Jessica’s career has been spent in emergency medicine. She has also worked in the medical surgical department, infusion clinic, and more recently in palliative care and holds a certificate in palliative care nursing. Additionally, she teaches nursing classes at College of the Redwoods. Jessica provides navigation services to her head and neck cancer patients which include:

  • Navigation through all aspects of diagnosis and treatment
  • Coordination of care with the multi-disciplinary team
  • Liaison between the Cancer Program and outside medical agencies and services
  • Symptom management, emotional support, appointment scheduling and referrals to outside agencies
  • Identification of patient needs and referral to appropriate multi-disciplinary team members
  • Administers pre-treatment chemotherapy education to new patients starting treatment
  • Maintains a system of navigation data to provide the highest quality of service to patients

April Alexander, MSW, ASW, Clinical Social Worker–Medical Oncology

Phone: 707-445-8121 ext. 6349
Fax: 707- 269-3684

April graduated from Humboldt State University with a master’s degree in social work and is a clinical oncology social worker. She is working toward her clinical licensure. April has been working with oncology patients for the past 4 years. She has specialized training in psychosocial issues related to cancer treatment and survivorship and is the Psychosocial Coordinator for the Cancer Program’s Cancer Committee. April designed and implemented the survivorship care plan program for the Cancer Program during her master’s year student internship. She enjoys working with and supporting patients and families in the Medical Oncology area of the Cancer Program. April believes in patient advocacy and supporting her patients from a strengths-based perspective. Social workers support patients by helping you to access information which can help you understand your diagnosis and treatment and the many emotions you may be experiencing. They also assist patients with treatment decisions and options. Some of the other services April provides include:

  • Counseling for you and your family & caregivers; psychotherapy for patients
  • Reducing stress through relaxation skills and mindfulness practices
  • Assistance with talking to your treatment team members/medical system coordination
  • Facilitation of support groups and educational programs
  • Community resources referrals and information
  • Transportation assistance
  • Referrals to community therapy and counseling

Whitney Terry, MS, RD, CSO Oncology Registered Dietitian

Phone: 707-445-8121 ext.6317
Fax: 707- 269-3684

Whitney graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Sciences and has been a Registered Dietitian since 2013. Prior to working in Cancer Support Services, she worked for 3 years as an inpatient Dietitian providing nutrition services to those admitted to the hospital. Whitney continues to work one day per week as an inpatient dietitian here at St. Joseph hospital in addition to her role as an outpatient oncology dietitian. Whitney developed a passion for oncology nutrition after watching two family members go through cancer treatment. Nutrition plays a critical role in cancer prevention and survivorship as well as contributes to better outcomes during treatment. Whitney provides oncology patients with Nutrition Services including:

  • Coordination of treatment diet with complex medical history
  • Identifying daily goals for calories and protein
  • Guidance on modified diets and supplements
  • Nutrition to promote wound healing
  • Management of the late effects from treatment
  • Management of tube feeding and total parenteral nutrition (IV nutrition)
  • Information on nutrition and cancer prevention and survivorship nutrition
  • Behavior modification to assist patients in changing unhealthy lifestyles

Jennifer Brown, Oncology Financial Counselor

Phone: 707-445-8121 ext. 6316
Fax: 707-269-3684

Jennifer Brown has worked in the medical field for over 15 years. Jennifer has worked in various aspects of the medical field such as Hospital patient registration, case management and Insurance verification and authorizations. She has also worked at various medical offices. Most recently before transferring to St Joseph’s. She worked for Texas Oncology in Austin, TX. At Texas Oncology she assisted patients in a variety of different areas, such as greeting patients and front desk reception check in to insurance verification and benefits. She moved to Eureka, CA in June of 2018, and joined the Cancer support services team as Oncology Financial Counselor. Here are some of the things a Financial Counselor can do to help:

  • Target and screen patients for financial assistance programs and foundations.
  • Meet with patients to determine eligibility for programs and help assist them in completing the financial forms and application process
  • Educate patients regarding the financial assistance programs and foundations they qualify for.
  • Work with patient accounts to submit billing information for the patient’s financial assistance program or foundation.