When you contact us for care, you will meet three important members of our breast cancer team: Natalie Gibbons, RN, and Dulce Panergo, RN, our Breast Cancer Nurse Coordinators, and Mary Anne Madsen, RTRM, our Breast Imaging Coordinator.
The nurse coordinators help guide our patients through their many appointments and exams, answer questions they may have, and serve as resources throughout their care.
Breast Cancer Nurse Coordinators
Natalie Gibbons, RN
Dulce Panergo, RN
Breast Imaging Coordinator
Mary Anne Madsen, RTRM
Mary Anne began her career at Virginia Mason in the Section of Radiology, then switched to Cardiology, in the heart catheterization lab, where she stayed for 23 years. It was in the spring of 1996, not quite a year after her own diagnosis of breast cancer that she decided on a career change, and transferred to mammography.
As Breast Imaging Coordinator and Seattle Komen Foundation board member, Mary Anne’s greatest pleasure is the direct contact she has with patients. A typical day might include “call backs” to women who need additional imaging or biopsies, and consultations with Rita Kelly in General Surgery about scheduling and coordinating patient visits.
Mostly she is there to talk, offer advice, and listen. One on one. “I tell women what it’s like to walk down that path of breast cancer.”
She was 45 years old in the fall of 1995 when she had a mastectomy, breast reconstruction and chemotherapy. When she was going through her own breast cancer experience she realized that there was no one there to talk to.
“I said to my surgeon and plastic surgeon: ‘You need someone like me to talk to patients.’” Soon after, her current position was created. “Now if plastic surgery calls and says, ‘We have a woman contemplating reconstruction with mastectomy. Do you have time to see her? My response is: ‘I’ll make time to see her.’"
“When you get that initial diagnosis of cancer, you think your life is over. In my case, I had a 16-year old, a 17-year old and a husband, and I had a lot to live for. I’m now nine years out. I exercise every day. I work full time. I try to eat right. I show people and tell them what is possible.”