Sentara Provider Delivers Compassionate Cancer Care
Christina E. Phillips, NP-C
Sentara Surgery Specialists - Surgical Oncology
Surgery, Nurse Practitioner
There’s a lot of information to absorb after receiving a cancer diagnosis. “My goal is for patients to understand what we discuss, so they are comfortable with the care they will receive,” says Christina E. Phillips, NP-C, a surgical oncology nurse practitioner with Sentara Surgery Specialists in Newport News. “I don’t dole out information and send patients home. Instead, I am an advocate for them and a partner in their care.”
Phillips often acts as a cancer interpreter, helping patients understand their diagnosis and treatment plan. “I tell my patients that it’s OK if they don’t get it right away. They can call me at any time. I’ll take as much time as needed to make sure they understand the path they are on.”
Besides having access to Phillips, patients have the support of a nurse navigator from the beginning. The navigator helps in scheduling appointments and identifying resources to assist the patient, including a monthly support group meeting.
Delivering Oncology Support to Patients and Their Families
Phillips’ desire to develop an ongoing relationship with patients is what led her to become a surgical oncology nurse practitioner. She genuinely cares about her patients. She also involves caregivers in conversations because she knows a cancer diagnosis affects the entire family.
“I pride myself on making a strong connection with patients and their loved ones. No one wants to deal with cancer, so we make the experience and journey as tolerable, even pleasant, as possible,” says Phillips. “It’s rewarding when patients leave with a smile because I helped calm their fears or held their hand during treatment.”
Her own family inspires her to deliver the very best care. She lives in Newport News with her husband and son and frequently visits her parents who retired in the Virginia Beach area. Her family started a nonprofit charity when she lived in Northern Virginia. The charity provides donated clothes and non-perishable items to families that made too much to qualify for government help, but not enough to make ends meet. They plan to transfer the charity to the Newport News area.
Newport News Clinic Offers Leading-Edge Cancer Care
Sentara cancer experts use a team approach to care for patients. Phillips works with other specialists, including:
- Radiologists who use imaging to aid in diagnosis and treatment
- Pathologists who help provide an accurate diagnosis by analyzing tissue samples in a laboratory
- Surgeons who remove as much of the tumor as possible
- Radiation oncologists who treat cancer with radiation therapy
- Medical oncologists who treat cancer using chemotherapy and other medications
The team meets weekly to discuss each new patient’s diagnosis. Together they agree on the most appropriate treatment plan that will deliver the best results.
Phillips is board-certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and is a member of the American Nurses Association. She received her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Simmons College. She is accepting new patients at the Sentara Surgery Specialists–Surgical Oncology clinic located at 11803 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 235, Newport News, Va.
Learn more about the important role nurse practitioners play in patient care.