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Breast Cancer Nurse Navigation at UPMC in Central Pa.

There’s little question that the cancer treatment process can be overwhelming. Sometimes it can be confusing. Few patients are prepared for this “new reality.” Most aren’t sure how all the demands of a breast cancer diagnosis can possibly fit into their day-to-day life.

This is when your UPMC Breast Care Center nurse navigator steps in.

Your UPMC nurse navigator is there from the time of your diagnosis. Your navigator serves as your go to person throughout the treatment process and beyond.

Your nurse navigator’s primary job is to remove barriers that stand in the way of your treatment. These could range from transportation and childcare issues to treatment related problems with your employer or insurance company. Your nurse navigator will work to help find a solution to any obstacle. Your navigator wants to ensure you can receive the health care you need.

But your nurse navigator’s job doesn’t stop there. Your UPMC Breast Care Center nurse navigator is your advocate and will work as a go between for you and your health care team. This ensures that your needs, concerns and goals are heard. Having this voice at the table helps you to own your treatment and the life that you have following treatment.

Your nurse navigator can also:

  • Educate you about your disease and treatment options
  • Offer emotional support
  • Help you manage side effects
  • Link you with community resources that may help you stay on track with treatment or improve your quality of life
  • Offer help with scheduling appointments
  • Explain insurance issues and help with paperwork
  • Help you access discounted medications through government or industry resources
  • Ensure that you have access to translation services if English is not your native language
  • Provide basic nutritional advice
  • Work with family and caregivers who need help coping with your diagnosis, managing your care or handling day-to-day activities of the home
  • Assist with the coordination of palliative or hospice care

Speak with a member of your UPMC Breast Care Center team to learn how a nurse navigator can help you.

  • Debbie Pierce, LPN
    Debbie earned her nursing degree at Steelton Highspire Technical School for Licensed Practical Nurses. Her 30-year career includes extensive experience as a triage nurse in various surgical settings. Ms. Pierce has been with the PinnacleHealth Breast Care Center since 2008.
  • Stephanie Brener, RN, OCN, CBCN
    Stephanie completed her nursing degree at Harrisburg Area Community College and is pursuing her BSN at Penn State University. Prior to joining the PinnacleHealth Breast Care Center, she worked with the Women’s and Children’s Unit at PinnacleHealth. Ms. Brener is certified in chemotherapy/biotherapy and has experience in women’s health, pediatrics, cancer, medical/surgical and hospice.
  • Alicia Bowers, RN, MSN
    Alicia completed both her bachelors and Masters of Science in nursing from Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA. Alicia has 14 years of nursing experience. Prior to joining the Breast Care Center, Alicia has worked in various inpatient and outpatient settings including Women's Health, oncology, OB/GYN, and Home Care.
  • Lea Russell, RN, BSN
    Lea completed her Bachelors of Science in nursing degree at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She has been a nurse for 13 years with her entire career spent in oncology. She has experience working on an inpatient bone marrow transplant unit. She has outpatient oncology experience working as an infusion room nurse and also worked in oncology clinical trials with a concentration in breast cancer research. She is currently working as a clinical nurse in the breast care center.
  • Stephanie Failor, MSN, BSN RN
    Stephanie completed her Bachelors in Science of Nursing from Penn State University and her Masters in Science of Nursing from University of Pheonix. Ms. Failor has more than 14 years of nursing experience and has been with UPMC since 2018. Prior to joining UPMC Breast Care Center, Stephanie worked in various settings including hospital, long-term care, and outpatient. She has also worked in the post-anesthesia care unit within UPMC.


UPMC Breast Care Center
11 Sprint Drive
Suite C
Carlisle, PA 17015

Phone: 717-960-3360
Fax: 717-706-6709

UPMC Breast Care Center
Located at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at the Rocco and Nancy Ortenzio Cancer Pavilion
2025 Technology Parkway
Suite 211
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

Phone: 717-988-1450
Fax: 717-221-5544

UPMC Breast Care Center
Located at Medical Sciences Pavilion
4300 Londonderry Road
Suite 202
Harrisburg, PA 17109

Phone: 717-545-5000
Fax: 717-545-5002

Breast Health Associates
Located at Breast Health Center
2170 Noll Drive
Suite 200
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: 717-393-3588

Leader Surgical Associates-UPMC
Located at Outpatient Services at UPMC Memorial
1703 Innovation Drive
Suite 3136
York, PA 17408

Phone: 717-741-3449
Fax: 717-741-5496

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Located at Outpatient Services at UPMC Memorial
1703 Innovation Drive
York, PA 17408

Hematology/Oncology: 717-801-0765
Radiation Oncology: 717-801-0742

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