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Meet Our Nurse Navigators

Every cancer diagnosis is different and has different needs. That is why we offer nurse navigators who specialize in different types of cancer.


Breast Cancer

Donna Dwire, RN, CBCN

Donna Dwire, RN, CBCN

Donna has been a nurse navigator since 2011. As a third generation breast cancer survivor, she is aware of the impact that cancer care and education has on a patient and their family. Her passion is to pay forward the compassionate care she and her mother received while in treatment and ensure her patients have a good understanding of their options and the resources available to them. Donna understands the emotional and mental load cancer carries and helps to provide reassurance, understanding and if needed, information for behavioral health resources. She is a patient's contact for support throughout treatments.

Donna has a bachelor's degree in nursing from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, and is certified as a breast care nurse (CBCN). She assists with Sanford's annual Breast Cancer Survivorship Retreat as well as the yearly Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She continues to share her knowledge and passion by providing in-services for many educational events in the community and for Sanford staff.

Outside of work, Donna enjoys spending time with her family hiking, biking, painting and sewing.

Gloria Top, RN, CBCN, CN-BN

Gloria Top, RN, CBCN, CN-BN

Gloria has experienced incredible job satisfaction since she was given the opportunity to become an oncology nurse navigator in 2008. She has a strong passion for breast cancer patients, which comes from being a breast cancer survivor herself.

Her role as a navigator is to provide individual education, support, and to address barriers to care for each newly diagnosed breast cancer patient. She empowers her patients with knowledge, which decreases fear and aids in decision making. She believes every patient should have a timely and efficient opportunity for cancer care and that no one should walk through this journey alone.

Gloria has an associate degree in nursing from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She received her certification as a breast care nurse (CBCN) in 2010 and became a certified navigator-breast nurse (CN-BN) in 2012.

She enjoys traveling to spend time with her family, and a variety of outdoor activities such as biking, hiking and spending time at her lake cabin.


Head and Neck Cancer

Jennifer Schmidt, RN

Jennifer Schmidt, RN

Jennifer has been a head and neck cancer nurse navigator since 2010, and has more than seven years of experience in nursing and oncology care. She provides individualized assistance to patients, families and caregivers, and serves as an advocate to promote timely, efficient, patient-focused and compassionate care. She is passionate about empowering and educating head and neck patients throughout their cancer journey and believes patients should have the information they need at the right time in order to make the best possible decision about their care.

Jen prides herself on being a consistent point of contact for patients and families as they transition between care settings and helping them understand the information they receive from multiple providers. She believes each patient and family have unique needs and barriers to care.

Jen has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, and a bachelor's degree in nursing from South Dakota State University in Brookings. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, reading and gardening.

Corinne Kompelien, RN, OCN

Corinne Kompelien, RN, OCN

Corinne has worked in oncology nursing at Sanford since 2007. She feels called to advocate for oncology patients and their distinct needs. Corinne believes knowledge is one of the strongest tools a patient can have when facing a cancer diagnosis and has a passion for providing that education to her patients and their families. The nurse navigator role allows Corinne the opportunity to bring together all aspects of a patient's diagnosis and treatment into a manageable, understandable package.

Corinne feels a special privilege in the opportunity to work with patients through the entire continuum of their cancer treatment.

Corinne has a bachelor's degree in nursing from South Dakota State University in Brookings. She obtained her certification in oncology nursing in 2013. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family and a variety of activities such as reading, cooking, gardening and sewing.


Gynecology Oncology

Jody Bolkema, RN

Jody Bolkema, RN

Jody has worked in various roles in oncology since 1986. Experience in medical oncology, hospice, home health, surgery and gynecologic oncology equip her in serving the many facets of cancer care for her patients. She has worked as a gynecologic oncology nurse navigator since 2011.

As a nurse navigator, Jody offers a variety of services to patients just diagnosed with or undergoing treatment for cancer. She ensures the highest quality of care possible for patients by serving as an advocate, coordinator of patient care, liaison between patient and providers, educator, troubleshooter and resource coordinator. Jody has a passion for cancer patients and believes it is a privilege to share in her patient's cancer journey.

Jody has a bachelor's degree in nursing from Augustana University in Sioux Falls. She is currently an active member of the Society of Gynecologic Nursing Organization. She is also a leader at Sanford Health in survivorship program development and assists with gynecologic oncology patient survivorship visits. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family, volunteering at church and in the community, bike riding and cheering on various sports teams.


Gastrointestinal Oncology

Annie Nelson, RN, MSN, CNL

Annie Nelson, RN, MSN, CNL

Annie has worked as an oncology nurse navigator for nearly two years, and has ten years of nursing experience. Annie specializes in navigating patients diagnosed with cancers of the Gastrointestinal (GI) system. She strives to provides consistency and continuity to people experiencing the stress and uncertainty that a cancer diagnosis brings.

Annie obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from South Dakota State University, and her Master of Science in nursing from St. Xavier University. She holds her certification as a clinical nurse leader (CNL), which is an educational preparation specializing in the promotion of safe, streamlined, effective care.

Annie has received the Florence Nightingale, Daisy and Guardian Angel awards during her nursing tenure. She enjoys her work, especially the relationships she forms with the people she serves.

Gwen Reker, RN, MSN, CIC

Gwen has been a nurse at Sanford health since 1982. She is passionate about patient advocacy; teaching persons to help understand diagnosis and treatment; and to make their best decisions about their health. Gwen believes that knowledge and understanding are key to anticipating the next steps and reducing anxiety. Every patient and their family members come to Sanford with unique life situations and potential barriers to care. Gwen believes removing barriers will improve the patient experience.

Gwen has a bachelors and masters degree in nursing from South Dakota State University in Brookings,SD. She is certified in infection prevention (CIC). She is excited to volunteer with cancer events throughout the region. She is committed to patient and staff education through any outlet: one-on-one, classroom settings, computer-based training, etc.

Gwen has been the recipient of Sanford’s Distinguished Wisdom Keeper award for nurses. She enjoys spending time with her many grandchildren and family, walking, reading, crafting and sewing.


Genitourinary Oncology

Jenna Kaiser

Jenna Kaiser, RN, OCN

Jenna has been a part of the Sanford Cancer team since 2007. She specializes in navigating patients diagnosed with cancers of the Genitourinary (GU) system. She is passionate about providing individualized, compassionate care to patients and their families throughout their cancer journey and into survivorship. Jenna takes great pride in being a dependable resource for patients and their caregivers as they transition between care settings during their cancer care. She believes that all patients have unique needs and values that drive their care and strives to ensure all patients receive patient-centered care for optimal outcomes. Jenna has a bachelor’s degree in health promotion, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from South Dakota State University in Brookings. She has been a certified oncology nurse since 2013. She enjoys spending her time with family and friends, the outdoors, and cooking.


Lung

Lisa Ehrman

Lisa Ehrman, RN, OCN, CCM

Lisa has over 20 years of experience in case management and has been working in oncology since 2008, assuming the role of Lung Thoracic Tumor Clinic Coordinator at that time. As the first multidisciplinary clinic to be initiated at Sanford, the Lung Clinic continues to provide patients with comprehensive care in an efficient and timely manner. Empowering patients to become educated and fully present in their health care is a priority to Lisa and her passion continues to be helping patient's when, where and how they need it. Every life deserves world – class care.

Lisa received her bachelor's degree in nursing and psychology from Augustana University and maintains certification as an oncology nurse as well as a nurse case manager. Working closely with patients and their families as well as the physician team and their support staff is very rewarding to Lisa and she believes the team approach in the care of the patient is vital to providing exceptional patient care over the continuum. When she is away from work, you can find Lisa spending time with her husband, her daughters and their husbands, her college-age son and her precious granddaughter!