MPN Hero Bridges the Care Gap to Address Mental Health Issues in Patients with MPNs

Video

Madeleine Henriquez noticed that the mental health care of patients with MPN was being overlooked and took action in a way that has changed her community for the better.

When she hears the word hero, physician assistant Madeleine Henriquez thinks of someone who has a big impact on a community of individuals to create a positive change — and that’s exactly why CURE® recognized her for when it named her as a 2019 MPN hero.

At the latest MPN Heroes event, Henriquez was nominated for her work at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, to address gaps in patient care when it came to mental health and psychosocial issues.

Henriquez was part of the Physician Assistant Foundation’s inaugural class of mental health first-aid workers in 2017, where she learned to identify signs of mental health distress and help address them, as well as to teach others to recognize and respond to these issues.

Henriquez brought her training back to MD Anderson, where she has shared it with her peers.

TRANSCRIPTION

CURE® had the chance to follow up with Henriquez after the hero’s ceremony to discuss her award and how she works to bridge the care gap for her patients.Mental health first aid is something that's been around since 2008. So, it's nothing novel, but the Physician Assistant Foundation created a fellowship class to teach physician assistants throughout America to become instructors and then go out to lead classes on mental health first aid. The course is designed to teach individuals within your community, and within your hospital, about common signs and symptoms of mental illness, to destigmatize mental illness and bring mental health to the forefront.

In my line of work, I recognize that a lot of individuals with MPN deal with a lot of psychological issues, whether it be anxiety or depression associated with their diagnoses, and I wanted to bring it to the forefront so that they're more equipped with the ability to talk about it, and possibly feel comfortable discussing the topic and getting help.

I then tried to tie my fellowship into my line of work by going into MD Anderson and teaching courses throughout the year. For the past two to three years, I taught various advanced practice providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants and nurses.

My goal is to eventually branch out and teach more individuals within the MPN community, like caregivers and patients, as well.

Related Videos
Jessica McDade, B.S.N., RN, OCN, in an interview with CURE
For patients with cancer, the ongoing chemotherapy shortage may cause some anxiety as they wonder how they will receive their drugs. However, measuring drugs “down to the minutiae of the milligrams” helped patients receive the drugs they needed, said Alison Tray. Tray is an advanced oncology certified nurse practitioner and current vice president of ambulatory operations at Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Jersey.  If patients are concerned about getting their cancer drugs, Tray noted that having “an open conversation” between patients and providers is key.  “As a provider and a nurse myself, having that conversation, that reassurance and sharing the information is a two-way conversation,” she said. “So just knowing that we're taking care of you, we're going to make sure that you receive the care that you need is the key takeaway.” In June 2023, many patients were unable to receive certain chemotherapy drugs, such as carboplatin and cisplatin because of an ongoing shortage. By October 2023, experts saw an improvement, although the “ongoing crisis” remained.  READ MORE: Patients With Lung Cancer Face Unmet Needs During Drug Shortages “We’re really proud of the work that we could do and achieve that through a critical drug shortage,” Tray said. “None of our patients missed a dose of chemotherapy and we were able to provide that for them.” Tray sat down with CURE® during the 49th Annual Oncology Nursing Society Annual Congress to discuss the ongoing chemo shortage and how patients and care teams approached these challenges. Transcript: Particularly at Hartford HealthCare, when we established this infrastructure, our goal was to make sure that every patient would get the treatment that they need and require, utilizing the data that we have from ASCO guidelines to ensure that we're getting the optimal high-quality standard of care in a timely fashion that we didn't have to delay therapies. So, we were able to do that by going down to the minutiae of the milligrams on hand, particularly when we had a lot of critical drug shortages. So it was really creating that process to really ensure that every patient would get the treatment that they needed. For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.
A man with a dark gray button-up shirt with glasses and cropped brown hair.
Dr. Andrea Apolo in an interview with CURE
Dr. Kim in an interview with CURE
Dr. Nguyen, from Stanford Health, in an interview with CURE
Related Content