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“My job is to comfort, advocate, care for, listen to, educate, and be present with my patients.”
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“Knowledge is power. Just be careful with searching the Internet. There is a lot of information out there that can scare or mislead you.”
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“Empowering patients is extremely rewarding. To watch a patient go from day one after surgery to a few days post-surgery is a beautiful thing to see.”
Medical/Surgical floor, Cancer Care Coordinator for the esophageal and gastric program
Virginia Piper Cancer Institute, Abbott Northwestern Hospital
Ten years ago most doctors just shrugged if a patient inquired about acupuncture. But medicine is changing, and Jessica Quinlan-Woodward is on change’s cusp. She’s a co-investigator on a study assessing the impact of integrative therapies such as acupuncture on post-mastectomy patients. “I am excited to be a part of a time where integrative medicine is becoming more accepted and widely used. I believe it focuses on the whole person—mind, body, and soul.”
Abbott Northwestern is home to the integrative medicine center The Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, so “we offer those services free to whoever comes through our door,” Quinlan-Woodward says. But it is her personal experience with a debilitating car accident, after which she successfully replaced pain medication with acupuncture, that drives her to see change through research.
The doctors are on board, too. “I went to the docs with the research, and all of them said, ‘Absolutely—anything that would help my patients and their quality of life. If you can provide evidence, we’ll change our care,’” she says. It’s coming.