Meet our McGrath Breast Care Nurses

November 04, 2021 2 mins read

Meet WA McGrath Breast Care Nurse Sandy Vlatko

Based at the Kalgoorlie Health Campus, Sandy Vlatko has been a McGrath Breast Care Nurse for four years, supporting patients in Kalgoorlie and the surrounding Goldfields region.

Sandy has been in nursing since she was 17 and has worked in everything from primary care to intensive care to recovery. Working in a regional area, the role comes with additional challenges, such as coordinating patient care in Perth.

Sandy is passionate about ensuring the treatment process is as easy as possible for her patients, even helping to organise accommodation and travel for those far away appointments. But that is not all Sandy does, she is also qualified with a post[1]graduate degree in research, so she can better help her patients.

Meet ACT McGrath Breast Care Nurse Kerryn Ernst

Kerryn Ernst is a Metastatic McGrath Breast Care Nurse based at the Capital Region Cancer Service in Canberra. She supports patients and their families in the Australian Capital Territory but helps coordinate care for women from the greater Southern area of NSW.

As a metastatic nurse, Kerryn helps patients with incurable breast cancer, with a focus on prolonging and maximising quality of life. She was the McGrath Foundation’s first dedicated metastatic breast care nurse. Kerryn has been nursing for over two decades and prides herself on being a point of knowledge and care for her patients.

“The most important thing I do for my patients is ensuring that they and their families feel supported, have timely access to care and get the right information as needed, helping them navigate their way through the often complex world of hospitals and cancer.” Kerryn has also driven multiple education programs to support the lives of women living with breast cancer in the ACT and beyond.

Meet NSW McGrath Breast Care Nurse Samantha Moules

Samantha Moules is a Metastatic McGrath Breast Care Nurse, based at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. She has worked as a cancer nurse for 20 years, a breast care nurse for eight years and a McGrath Metastatic Breast Care Nurse for four years.

Samantha specialises in patients with stage four breast cancer, otherwise known as metastatic cancer, which is incurable. Often, by the time a patient is diagnosed as metastatic, they can have seen up to 80 medical professionals. Samantha understands the importance of being that one source of professional contact, offering practical, medical and emotional support.

“You get to know patients over a period of time, it’s not like in the accident and emergency department where you treat someone and then never see them again.” “It’s the longevity of the care and building relationships with the patients that drew me into cancer nursing and keeps me here.”

Samantha strives to make a difference to her patient’s lives, being a familiar face to provide support and comfort for the patients and their families on the unfamiliar path that lies ahead.

Meet QLD McGrath Breast Care Nurse Sally Haley

Sally Haley has been a McGrath Breast Care Nurse since 2017 and has been a registered nurse since 1994. She is based at Gladstone Hospital, supporting patients in the Gladstone district and surrounding suburbs.

Anyone that has met Sally knows that she is a natural to nursing. She is warm, open and immediately puts patients and their families at ease. It’s Sally’s aim to always make her patients feel comfortable, empowered, and to help guide them through the treatment plan with courage.

“I feel humbled and privileged to be working alongside my patients, forming a therapeutic relationship because you’re really making a difference. It’s so clichéd, but so true.” As a McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Sally continues to be a source of compassion and expertise for her patients and their families, there to help navigate their diagnosis and treatment.

Meet SA McGrath Breast Care Nurse Roslyn Mayfield

Roslyn Mayfield is the McGrath Breast Care Nurse for the mid[1]north region of South Australia. Based out of Port Pirie, Roslyn provides support to patients experiencing breast cancer across the mid-north area.

Since joining the McGrath Foundation in 2015, Roslyn has always strived to be approachable, empathetic, and professional in her role. She helps patients navigate the complex medical system, with a balance of expertise and understanding.

“The most important thing I do for my patients is be a local professional contact that can assist them to understand their diagnosis, treatment options and the support available to them.”

In addition to her day-to-day duties as a McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Roslyn has become a valuable member of the Port Pirie community establishing breast cancer support groups and working with local BreastScreen facilities to encourage early detection.

Meet TAS McGrath Breast Care Nurse Tracy Beattie

Tracy Beattie support patients and their families in the Northwest coast of Tasmania, from the Smithton region to Sheffield and Devonport, and all places in between. She has been McGrath Breast Care Nurse since 2013, a registered nurse since 1988.

For Tracy, the most valuable thing she can do for her patients is to be present. When going through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, there is so much information and life can feel like it’s spiraling out of control. Tracy understands the importance of having someone solid, constant, and there to help. “I am a breast care nurse to my patients, but also a friend and confidante. Every day I make a difference by coordinating care when things are overwhelming.”

Tracy is a constant source of knowledge and care for her patients and we’re extremely lucky to have her as a McGrath Breast Care Nurse.

Meet VIC McGrath Breast Care Nurse Joylene Fletcher

Joylene Fletcher, from Ballarat, has been nursing for 31 years. When a McGrath Foundation position opened at Ballarat Health Services, Joylene jumped at the opportunity, fondly calling it her dream job.

Joylene has now been a McGrath Breast Care Nurse for four years. For her, the most important part of the role is empowering patients with knowledge, tools and resources, so they can feel in control of their breast cancer experience.

“I provide them with information and resources to help reduce the stresses and troubles that come with a breast cancer diagnosis, so they don’t lose themselves. They can still be the mum, wife and friend that they were before breast cancer rather than be overconsumed by a breast cancer diagnosis”

Joylene understands the value of having someone to talk to about all the important decisions that come with breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and wants to help guide her patients through that process.

Meet NT McGrath Breast Care Nurse Noelle O’Reilly

McGrath Breast Care Nurse Noelle O’Reilly is based out of Darwin in the Northern Territory. She is positioned at the Royal Darwin Hospital/ Alan Walker Cancer Centre but helps patients in rural and remote communities throughout the state.

Noelle has been with the McGrath Foundation since 2015 and has been nursing since 1998. She understands how complex the medical system can seem from the outside and acts as a key link between her patients and medical representatives.

“I offer a link between the patient and the hospital, which can be really helpful when they’re unwell and even the smallest tasks seem impossible.”

Noelle is a friendly face, there to guide her patients and their families through the unknown territory of breast cancer. She helps decode complex medical terminology and ensure her patients feel equipped with the knowledge to make important decisions regarding their treatment.