Three-time breast cancer survivor Joan Katz is grateful to be able to share her journey with thousands of others, offering hope and help through a one-of-a-kind center without walls that bears her name.
In 1996, when she became a patient at the Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, Joan began to realize her experience at multidisciplinary centers was not the norm in Fort Worth.
As Joan was beginning to grasp the enormity of making the journey easier, she learned that Dr. Alan Johns had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She reached out to him in encouragement.
“Knowing Joan’s history, I was glad to hear from her,” said Dr. Alan Johns, Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center gynecologist and the inspiration behind the Joan Katz Breast Center. Joan became his “navigator.”
Dr. Johns knew had known how to navigate the “system” during his treatment, but he recognized that many of his patients did not. That had to change, and the dream of an integrated system for the treatment of breast cancer patients was born.
“My ultimate goal was to offer breast cancer patients a comprehensive center incorporating everything the focus group had discussed, coupled with physicians, nurses, and support personnel dedicated to quality patient centered care,” he said.
Dr. John knew the best way to get his community’s support was to understand why the breast cancer patients he had come to know had left Fort Worth for treatment: “I needed to understand what led these ladies to go elsewhere.”
Patients were invited to meet and discuss their thoughts and concerns about breast cancer treatment in Fort Worth and what they would expect from a local comprehensive center.
From these meetings the Joan Katz Breast Center was born. It was to be a financially independent center supported by an endowment to keep it self-sufficient, with no allegiance to any medical group, physician, or hospital system - exactly what Fort Worth’s breast cancer patients deserved.
“From the very beginning, I knew our center had to bear Joan’s name. For 30 years, she had listened and held hands with literally hundreds of breast cancer patients, sharing her journey and encouraging them in theirs. Joan had been Fort Worth’s first breast cancer navigator.”
“I was totally uncomfortable with a center bearing my name,” reflected Joan. “However, I was thrilled with the incredible vision Alan shared. It was exactly what our community needed. I kept saying no until I realized that it was not about my name but rather about my experience. How humbling to make a public statement for such a bold and important vision.”
Since opening in May 2010, the JKBC has offered help and hope to approximately 5,000 patients. It received accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) in 2013 and reaccreditation in 2015.
The All Saints Health Foundation supports the programming at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth in serving all people through exemplary health care and education. As a program administered through Andrews Women’s Hospital, the Joan Katz Breast Center provides hope for all who hear the words, “You have cancer.” All of the non-medical services offered by the Joan Katz Breast Center are free to breast and gynecologic cancer patients and their families regardless of where they receive their direct medical care. Services offered at the breast center include: patient navigation from diagnosis through wellness; education regarding disease process, pathology, cancer treatment options, nutrition and wellness; one-on-one chemotherapy teaching; connection to community resources and support; coordination of medical appointments; genetic counseling and testing; breast cancer support group; access to Survivor Gals Salon offering specialty products for women facing chemotherapy – related appearance issues; and free yoga classes. All patients and their families are also able to participate in emotional health counseling by a highly experienced, Board Certified Psych/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (PMHCNS) with over 20 years of experience.
Job Title and description: Certified Navigator-Breast Advocate
A Certified Navigator-Breast Advocate (Lay Navigator) is a non-clinical staff member who provides one-on-one guidance and assistance to individuals as they move through the often confusing health care continuum. In the Joan Katz Breast Center, our Lay Navigator is also a breast cancer survivor who is able to offer emotional support for patients and their families from someone who has “walked the walk.” She is often called the chief hand holder, anxiety reducer, and purveyor of hugs and hope.
Interesting fact about me: I can count to 10 in Japanese.
Passionate about: my grandchildren, travel, books, laughter, art, and the Joan Katz Breast Center
Job title/description: Gynecology Oncology Nurse Navigator
As a navigator I provide support, education and resources to women with gynecological cancers to empower them to make informed decisions.
Passionate about: photography
|Zumba Gold||Every Monday||6pm-7pm||Zumba Gold creates the original moves you love. This class is designed for beginners or those new or returning to exercise. Stay Calm and Zumba On!|
|Yoga||Every Tuesday||6pm- 7pm||Variety poses of yoga will focus on balance, range of motion, and coordination.|
|Monthly Nutrition Education Classes||3rd Wednesday of every month||6pm||Topics for these classes will change monthly. Classes are geared toward using foods known to be cancer deterrents.|
|Mat Pilates||Every Thursday||6:00-7:00 pm||
Mat classes are designed based on the physical conditioning principles and techniques of Joseph H. Pilates. Pilates aims to improve posture and muscle tone, strengthen core muscles, and lengthen and decompress the spine.
|Quarterly Cooking Demonstrations||2nd Wednesday (quarterly)||6 pm||These classes will teach participants new recipes where ginger and other known cancer deterrents are included.|
|Quarterly Art classes||TBD||TBD||Classes will include painting, printing, sculpture and other creative concepts to reduce stress in your lives.|
|Wellness Orientation (provide survivor kits)||1st and 3rd Wednesday||6 PM||We will help you understand the program and provide you the survivor kit. You must be registered in order to receive the kit.|
For additional information, please contact the Joan Katz Breast Center @ 817-922-2223.