Kathleen Lutz, a nurse practitioner in gynecologic oncology at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, was recently highlighted by Oncology Nursing News as an “Oncology Nursing Champion” for her long career of supportive and excellent care. She was interviewed on her love and commitment to what she does, discussing how the field and patient outcomes have changed drastically over the years.
Lutz started practicing nursing in 1988 after graduating from Molloy College in Rockville Centre in New York. By 1998, she was the third NP credentialed nurse, and the first NP in obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Health.
Oncology nurses help their patients through an avalanche of challenges. “One of the big challenges is when we have a patient with no social support,” Lutz says. “It means getting creative and finding the resources to get them back and forth to appointments and getting them medications.” She explains that patients without support systems need daily phone calls and more frequent home care visits to ensure that somebody is checking in on a regular basis.
Her enthusiasm for patients’ wellbeing is clear to all who know her. Bhavana Pothuri, MD, who works at NYU Langone with Lutz, says, “Kathleen is extraordinary in her commitment to the care of the gynecologic oncology patient and is most deserving of this recognition. I have worked with her for 15 years and can say she is undoubtedly the most dedicated nurse I have ever worked with.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lutz helped orchestrate infusion appointments locally when going to New York City was not feasible for patients. This involved spending many hours on the phone with patients to arrange for them to receive their chemotherapy at Perlmutter Cancer Center Infusion Center at NYU Langone—120 Mineola Boulevard.
Lutz understands that oncology nurses have to be 100 percent invested in what they do to be successful. She knows it is that level of commitment that makes her team what she calls “a successful family” and is happy to say she loves being an oncology advanced practice nurse.
Read more from Oncology Nursing News.