Nurse Navigator Program

The time immediately following a cancer diagnosis is an emotionally taxing time for patients when the "what next" questions need to be answered. The nurse navigator is someone with whom they can connect during this life-altering event. While patients with cancer often can gear up for the big issues, the little issues wear away at them from day to day.

It is important that these patients have help to overcome even the small issues. We cannot change the cancer or their treatments, but we can help patients find resources both to get through the challenges and handle the bumps in the road during their journey.

Nurse navigators provide a broad spectrum of care from screening, diagnosis, and treatment to supportive and end-of-life care.

The Nurse Navigator

  • Is a registered nurse certified in oncology with compassion that runs deep and with years of experience in working with patients who have cancer
  • Serves as a clinician, care coordinator, educator and counselor for patients and families
  • Helps patients and their families understand the diagnosis and treatment plan
  • Improves patient outcomes through education, support and monitoring
  • Coordinates care with other healthcare providers such as radiologists, pharmacists, dietitians, social workers, case managers and counselors
  • Helps the patient and family connect with community resources (working with GHS' full-time social worker with expertise in this area)
  • Remains available and in contact with the patient and caregivers throughout the treatment process; the patient may call at any time day or night with questions about medication, symptoms, lifestyle changes or other concerns

Oncology Nurse Navigators

Annette J. Dunphy, BSN, MSN, RN, OCN

Thoracic Oncology

  • BSN, Eastern Kentucky University
  • MSN, University of Phoenix
  • Director of Nursing for GHS Oncology and Medicine departments since 2010
  • Thoracic nurse navigator with GHS for more than 10 years
  • Oncology-certified nurse for 22 years
  • Oncology nurse for 23 years with experience in medical and surgical oncology, bone marrow transplant, home care and outpatient care
  • Active in local and state Oncology Nursing Society

"As an oncology nurse navigator, I support both patients and families through their journey following thoracic cancer diagnosis."

Jackie Gambrell, BSN, RN, OCN, CBCN

Gastrointestinal, Head/Neck, Neuro Cancers
(864) 455-1491

  • BSN, Barton College
  • Gastrointestinal, head/neck, neuro nurse navigator with GHS since 2003
  • Oncology-certified nurse for 18 years
  • 30 years of experience as a registered nurse
  • Oncology experience includes adult and pediatric work, cancer research and experience in bone marrow transplant
  • National instructor for Oncology Nursing Society
  • Involved with GHS community outreach cancer screenings
  • Promotes healthy living as a speaker for area corporate and church groups

"As an oncology nurse navigator, I walk beside patients and families who are on a cancer journey. I encourage them to embrace their situation and provide education, support and information to each patient and family. I listen, laugh and encourage them daily. It is a privilege to walk this journey with patients and families. Oncology nursing is my ministry; patients and families continue to teach me that life is a precious gift that should be lived well every day."

Stephanie Hoopes, BSN, RN, OCN

Integrative Oncology and Survivorship 
(864) 455-5219

  • BSN, University of Phoenix
  • Survivorship nurse navigator with GHS since 2013
  • Oncology-certified nurse since 2006
  • Oncology nurse for 12 years
  • Certified smoking cessation counselor
  • Experience in acute care medical oncology nursing, stem cell bone marrow transplant nursing, ambulatory outpatient medical oncology nursing and integrative therapies
  • Active in Oncology Nursing Society nationally and locally; current president of the South Carolina Upstate chapter

Patricia Leighton, MSN Ed, RN, OCN

Integrative Oncology and Survivorship
(864) 455-1346

  • BSN, University of Phoenix
  • MSN with Education focus, University of Phoenix
  • Survivorship nurse navigator at GHS since 2012
  • Oncology-certified nurse for 15 years
  • Oncology nurse for 22 years
  • Experience in acute care medical oncology nursing, stem cell bone marrow transplant nursing, home health case management, ambulatory outpatient medical oncology nursing
  • Nurse educator, Greenville Technical College Adjunct Faculty, 2011-2012
  • Active in Oncology Nursing Society national and local chapter
  • Member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing

"As the survivorship nurse navigator, I connect cancer patients with education and community resources related to cancer treatment effects throughout cancer survivorship. Some of my responsibilities include helping survivors maintain wellness and understand possible long-term effects of their cancer therapy, as well as providing them with any complementary integrative therapies or resources they may need. I also help create a document known as a survivorship care plan or treatment summary to guide them on their journey."

Kathy Padilla, BSN, RN, OCN

Thoracic Cancers 
(864) 455-1397

  • BSN, Medical University of South Carolina
  • Thoracic nurse navigator with GHS since 2014
  • Oncology-certified nurse for two years
  • Oncology nurse in chemotherapy infusion for seven years
  • 29 years of nursing experience

Kate Richardson, BSN, MSN, RN, OCN

Oncology Clinical Research 
(864) 455-2860

  • BSN, Clemson University
  • MSN, Charleston Southern University
  • A nurse navigator with GHS since 2012
  • Oncology/stem cell transplant nurse for seven years in the Upstate of South Carolina
  • Oncology-certified nurse for five years
  • Has served as a nursing instructor in the classroom and clinical settings
  • Involved in local outreach efforts for cancer prevention and community awareness
  • Active in Oncology Nursing Society
  • Member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing 

"As an oncology clinical research nurse, I work with physicians, patients and the community to navigate people through clinical trials. In particular, I work with cancer control clinical trials, which deal with the side effects of cancer or its treatments, such as pain management, fatigue, and ways to improve comfort and quality of life during and after cancer treatment. I also work with clinical trials that aim to prevent cancer by involving people that do not have cancer but have known risk factors for cancer development, as well as cancer survivors to prevent a second cancer.  I enjoy working with patients to assure a positive experience while navigating them through our healthcare system and clinical trial. I am excited about the aims of these trials to improve the quality of life in people undergoing cancer treatments and survivors, as well as the potential to unveil strategies to prevent cancer."

Sherry Riggins, BSN, RN, OCN

Melanoma, Sarcoma, GU and Breast Cancers
(864) 455-2865

  • BSN, University of Phoenix
  • A nurse navigator with GHS since 2012
  • Oncology-certified nurse for 15 years
  • 21 years of experience as a registered nurse
  • Oncology nurse since 1992 with experience in general oncology, chemotherapy infusion, stem cell infusion, breast cancer, gynecologic oncology and oncology research
  • Teaches and speaks at professional conferences
  • Serves as a certified parish nurse
  • Involved with GHS community outreach cancer screenings and teaches community health classes
  • Active in Oncology Nursing Society locally and nationally

"The role of an oncology nurse navigator is very fulfilling.  I love working with patients and helping them through their journey. Navigating each person through their journey to optimize their outcome at a very stressful and confusing time is the reason I became a nurse navigator and am so dedicated to this role."

Pat Schuman, BSN, RN, OCN 

Disparities, Thoracic and Neurologic Cancers
(864) 455-1391

  • BSN, Florida Atlantic University
  • Thoracic nurse navigator with GHS since 2009
  • Oncology Certified Nurse for 25 years
  • 27 years of experience as an oncology nurse
  • Involved in GHS' smoking cessation program
  • Active in Oncology Nursing Society and a member since 1980

"As an oncology nurse navigator, I help the thoracic and neuro patients learn about their specific type of cancer and treatments. My role is typically more with patients when they are initially diagnosed. This is a particularly stressful and confusing time for patients and families with many appointments and introductions to specialty physicians. I provide information on side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery and answer questions from the patient and their support team. I also provide information on equipment, such as feeding tubes, drain catheters for chest tubes (pleura catheters, pleurovacs), etc."

Jo Maria Weathers, BSN, RN, OCN, CBCN

Nurse Navigator for Breast Cancer
(864) 455-1392


  • BSN, University of South Carolina
  • Breast cancer nurse navigator at GHS since 2001 
  • Oncology-certified nurse for 16 years
  • Oncology nurse for 20 years with 13 years focused on breast cancer
  • Helped establish two breast cancer support groups and helped with programs for an older established support group
  • Involved in local breast cancer prevention and awareness efforts as speaker for community groups
  • Established a lymphedema prevention/education class
  • Active in Oncology Nursing Society locally and nationally

"As an oncology nurse navigator for breast cancer patients, I am available for my patients for any questions, concerns or problems that may arise during their journey. The diagnosis of cancer is a scary, confusing time, and the nurse navigators are here to hold the patients hand and walk with them and their family through this trying time. Patient care is coordinated at the multidisciplinary meeting with the surgeon, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist, along with discussion with the radiologist and pathologist. When the team goes to meet the patient and discuss their care, they go as a united front after having the team discussion. The nurse navigator then meets with the patient at the end to tie up any loose ends, provide education, and most importantly, to answer any questions the patient may have and let them know that we are available at any time. I am honored to be a nurse navigator and to have the privilege to help patients at a time when the system can become confusing."

To refer a patient, please call (864) 455-1200 or fax (864) 455-2437.
Greenville: 900 W. Faris Road, Greenville SC 29605 | 3 Butternut Drive, Suite B, Greenville, SC 29605 | 65 International Drive, Greenville, SC 29615 | 200 Andrews Street, Suite 100, Greenville, SC 29601 Easley: 109 Fleetwood Drive, Suite A, Easley, SC 29640  Greer: 340 Medical Parkway, Greer, SC 20650  Seneca: 131 Lila Doyle Drive, Seneca, SC 29672  Spartanburg: 120 Dillon Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29307