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UC Davis Health System

UC Davis Health System

FEATURE | Posted Nov. 26, 2013

Elevating cancer care through nurse leadership

Terri Wolf builds bridge to boost quality, expertise in community cancer centers

Nurse leader Terri Wolf
Terri Wolf is leading quality improvement and nurse training for the health system's Cancer Care Nework of affiliated community cancer centers.

UC Davis nurse leader Terri Wolf is defining quality cancer care through robust education programs and leading-edge training for nurses in the UC Davis Health System’s Cancer Care Network of affiliated community cancer centers.

“We’re helping nurses identify where they want to grow and what they want to learn,” says Wolf, an inaugural graduate of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and the network’s nursing and quality coordinator. “This is empowering them to develop the structures to be successful and in turn, provide quality care.”

Wolf, the first to hold the position, has developed a community-based, quality cancer care program for the UC Davis Cancer Care Network’s hospital-based cancer centers, which include Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, San Joaquin Community Hospital AIS Cancer Center, Rideout Cancer Center and Mercy Cancer Center, Merced.

Scott Christensen“She is not only responsible for nursing education, training, management and support, but overall quality improvement within the network.”
— Scott Christensen

“She is not only responsible for nursing education, training, management and support, but overall quality improvement within the network,” says Scott Christensen, medical director of the Cancer Care Network and professor of hematology and oncology at UC Davis. “She is leading efforts to establish a quality dashboard and develop part of our team definition of what quality cancer care is.”

The program provides one-on-one support to nurses who work in community hospital-based cancer centers affiliated with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. The program also offers mentoring, leadership training, and emergency preparedness in a multitude of ways.

Last year, for example, Wolf invited network nurses to a training exercise originally created for UC Davis infusion nurses. With a focus on response to chemotherapy-related emergencies, UC Davis and network nurses spent time at the Health System’s Center for Virtual Care where they responded to computerized mannequins (patient simulators) and reviewed emergency protocols including communication plans and resources.

“The training illustrates UC Davis’ philosophy of sharing knowledge,” Wolf says. “We have tremendous academic and clinical resources here and we opened our doors to our network affiliates so that knowledge and best practices can be disseminated on a wider basis throughout California.”

Recently, Wolf organized the first all-network virtual educational event where each affiliated site submitted a case study based on chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting for discussion. The video conference brought 25 clinical specialists, infusion nurses and pharmacists together.