An Interview with Yolanda Marzouk, Patient Navigator at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute

Below are excerpts from an interview I had with Yolanda Marzouk, patient navigator at Sinai’s Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute.

Judy: Yolanda, your title is “patient navigator.” What is a patient navigator and what are your responsibilities?

Yolanda: As you can imagine, patients who have been newly diagnosed with cancer are upset, frightened and often feel a loss of control over their lives. I try to be a source of reassurance and information. I meet with new patients when they come in for their first chemotherapy treatment, answer questions, assist with possible barriers to care (such as transportation problems to and from the Cancer Institute for treatment) and present support group options.

yolanda marzouk

Yolanda Marzouk

J: The Auxiliary was pleased to provide a grant to your department both last year and, based on your glowing feedback, again this year for the implementation and expansion of the Integrative Therapy Program. Please tell our readers about your program.

Y: As indicated in our grant proposal, the program was designed to improve the well-being of our patients by providing stress reduction and relaxation to participants as they undergo the tedious process of protracted and repeated infusion therapy. All the therapies we offer are conducted by trained professionals.

J: Approximately how many people have taken part in the program and what is the age range?

Y: Several hundred patients have participated, our youngest only 21 years old and most senior, 92.

J: In your application for the grant last year, you indicated that the Integrative Therapy Program involves several modalities - art, music and guided imagery meditation. Let’s start with art.

Y: We have an artist who comes in twice a month and offers workshops at the infusion center and an art therapist who is on site twice a week and works with participants on a one-to-one basis as they undergo their infusion treatments. Some of our patients have never painted before, and we are overwhelmed by the quality of their previously undiscovered talent! (Please see patient artwork on the right) One of our participants was so enthusiastic that she changed the day of her treatment just so she could be at the Institute when the art therapist was here.

J: What about the music component of your program?

Y: We currently have a guitarist/singer who comes in once a month and sings in the infusion center and a student from the Peabody
Institute who plays music each month.

J: Please tell our readers about other segments of the Integrative Therapy Program.

Y: Our guided imaging therapy uses CDs and DVDs to help patients achieve a sense of calm and peace by guiding them to a relaxing place they’ve experienced in the past. We offer a monthly support group in which a visiting psychotherapist teaches an emotional freedom technique. This year we initiated meditation therapy and Reiki, a technique of “off-body” healing practiced in many oncology facilities.

It’s interesting and gratifying for our staff to witness how many patients begin the Integrative Therapy Program as naysayers or skeptics and end up as enthusiastic participants. We and our patients really appreciate the Auxiliary’s support for this important program.

If you are skilled in alternative therapies and would like to volunteer your services, pleast contact Yolanda Marzouk at YMarzouk@lifebridgehealth.org, or by phone at 410-601-0920.

-Written by Judy Mehlman, originally featured in Sinai Hospital Auxiliary newsletter Impact

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premiere health care organization, call 866-404-DOCS.

Print this entry

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • For #EarthWeek, #NorthwestHospital celebrated with a big yard sale! Instead of throwing away old equipment and office furniture, the hospital sold them at affordable prices so they could be #reused and #recycled. The money raised will support programs for our patients. #GoGreen #BeGreen #YardSale #Bargains #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "For #EarthWeek, #NorthwestHospital celebrated with a big yard sale! Instead of throwing away old equipment and office furniture, the hospital sold them at affordable prices so they could be #reused and #recycled. The money raised will support programs for our patients. #GoGreen #BeGreen #YardSale #Bargains #LifeBridgeHealth"
    2
    0
  • Clinton Gilbert, a patient at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute at #LifeBridgeHealth, enjoyed the positive affirmations in the hope chest of his @givingcomfort kit. #Cancer #GivingComfort #GiveHope #ComfortKit #CancerFighter #CancerPatient

    lifebridgehealth: "Clinton Gilbert, a patient at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute at #LifeBridgeHealth, enjoyed the positive affirmations in the hope chest of his @givingcomfort kit. #Cancer #GivingComfort #GiveHope #ComfortKit #CancerFighter #CancerPatient"
    13
    0
  • #SinaiHospital and #NorthwestHospital are participating in "Flags Across Maryland," a Living Legacy Foundation initiative to commemorate #DonateLifeMonth. More than 123,000 people are waiting for a live-saving transplant nationally, including 3,500 in #Maryland alone. #beadonor #donatelife #donor #givelife

    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital and #NorthwestHospital are participating in "Flags Across Maryland," a Living Legacy Foundation initiative to commemorate #DonateLifeMonth. More than 123,000 people are waiting for a live-saving transplant nationally, including 3,500 in #Maryland alone. #beadonor #donatelife #donor #givelife"
    10
    0
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, #vitaminD can provide your children with many #health benefits including, prevention against future bone problems, #diabetes and even #heartdisease. So, now that #spring has finally sprung – get outside and enjoy the sun! #TipTuesday #Flowers #HealthCare #LifeBridgeHealth #SinaiHospital

    lifebridgehealth: "According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, #vitaminD can provide your children with many #health benefits including, prevention against future bone problems, #diabetes and even #heartdisease. So, now that #spring has finally sprung – get outside and enjoy the sun! #TipTuesday #Flowers #HealthCare #LifeBridgeHealth #SinaiHospital"
    8
    0
  • This week (April 20-24) #LifeBridgeHealth is encouraging employees and community members to #GoGreen for #EarthWeek by participating in a series of #events across our facilities. Today's event theme: "One Mug, One Planet."

    lifebridgehealth: "This week (April 20-24) #LifeBridgeHealth is encouraging employees and community members to #GoGreen for #EarthWeek by participating in a series of #events across our facilities. Today's event theme: "One Mug, One Planet.""
    4
    0
  • Marihelen Spencer has been a #NorthwestHospital #volunteer for 26 years! Thank you so much for all that you do for our organization. #GiveBack #NationalVolunteerWeek #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Marihelen Spencer has been a #NorthwestHospital #volunteer for 26 years! Thank you so much for all that you do for our organization. #GiveBack #NationalVolunteerWeek #LifeBridgeHealth"
    11
    0
  • #LifeBridgeHealth's Community Service Corp hosted a fair at #SinaiHospital where employees could learn about volunteer opportunities in their community. #NationalVolunteerWeek #Volunteer #Baltimore #HelpingHand #Give #PayItForward

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth's Community Service Corp hosted a fair at #SinaiHospital where employees could learn about volunteer opportunities in their community. #NationalVolunteerWeek #Volunteer #Baltimore #HelpingHand #Give #PayItForward"
    12
    0
  • A recent article from @Glamourmag reminds us: "Don't wait too long between eating. The biggest cause of overeating is undereating." #TipTuesday #HealthyEating

    lifebridgehealth: "A recent article from @Glamourmag reminds us: "Don't wait too long between eating. The biggest cause of overeating is undereating." #TipTuesday #HealthyEating"
    5
    1
  • #SinaiHospital employees are ready to root for the home team on #oriolesopeningday! #Orioles #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital employees are ready to root for the home team on #oriolesopeningday! #Orioles #LifeBridgeHealth"
    6
    0
  • #Patient safety is a top priority for everyone at #LifeBridgeHealth. #NorthwestHospital President Brian White recently spoke to the #Maryland Patient Safety Center about #patientsafety initiatives at LifeBridge Health. #HealthCare #WeCare #Safety #HealthSafety.

    lifebridgehealth: "#Patient safety is a top priority for everyone at #LifeBridgeHealth. #NorthwestHospital President Brian White recently spoke to the #Maryland Patient Safety Center about #patientsafety initiatives at LifeBridge Health. #HealthCare #WeCare #Safety #HealthSafety."
    9
    3