Our People

The Core of What We Do: Carmen Heller’s Passion Is Guiding Patients Through Their Cancer Journeys

Published: Aug. 10, 2023

In “The Core of What We Do,” you’ll learn more about Methodist’s core service lines – primary care, oncology, cardiology, women’s health and orthopedics/surgical services – and the people whose dedication makes them so impactful for our communities. To explore career opportunities at Methodist, visit bestcare.org/jobs.


Carmen Heller, BSN, RN, OCN
RN Oncology Navigator
Methodist Fremont Health


Cancer care oncology service line logo icon

Why are the oncology service line and your work so important to Methodist and the community?

Radiation is an integral part of many of oncology patients’ treatments. Most radiation services can be provided locally, saving patients time and travel expenses. Cancer research continues to discover the best treatments for our oncology patients. I'm optimistic about the future and the care we’ll be able to provide.


What should people know about radiation oncology?

We have many team members (dosimetrists, physicists, etc.) who work behind the scenes to complete our radiotherapy treatment plans. Radiation uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. Sometimes, it's given concurrently with systemic therapy. All radiotherapy treatment plans are reviewed by our radiation oncologists.


Tell us about your role and responsibilities.

I work as a nurse navigator in the Radiation Oncology Department. My primary focus is cancer patients and helping them navigate their way to quality care within the health system. I provide support to cancer patients and their families by helping them understand their diagnoses, cope with the effects of treatment and coordinate medical oncology with radiation oncology appointments. I also provide access to informative education materials. To better serve the cancer community, I participate in tumor board meetings as well as the Methodist cancer committee and the Commission on Cancer accreditation. I am currently a contributing board member for the Metro Omaha Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society, and I host monthly meetings for the Sisters & Survivors support group. Cancer prevention, screening and survivorship are very important parts of navigating patient care, and I strive to provide detailed survivorship care plans to all breast, prostate and lung cancer patients.


What do you enjoy most about your team?

My coworkers are great. Being told you have cancer is devastating. Our team members all have the same compassion, respect and empathy for our oncology patients. We strive for positive outcomes and for patients to achieve the best quality of life.


Are there any memorable moments that stand out to you?

There are many special memories. Supporting each patient through their cancer journey and seeing a positive outcome is greatly rewarding.


Why are you so passionate about your work?

The field of oncology has been my passion for many years. I had an aunt who died from breast cancer, and her experience inspired me to pursue oncology.

I love my relationships with our oncology patients and seeing them successfully complete their cancer treatments.


What does The Meaning of Care mean to you?

It means being a patient advocate. Striving to provide the best care to every oncology patient. Providing education and resources to patients to facilitate informed decision-making. Keeping current with continuing education in nursing and oncology. It also means accepting the fact that not all patients want treatment and would prefer comfort care.


What do you enjoy outside of your time at Methodist?

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, hiking, biking, swimming, and gardening.