Florida Hospital for Women’s Health Navigator, Doreen Forsythe, is a personal healthcare concierge who makes healthcare easier for women in Central Florida.
When you’re searching for a new doctor or have a question about your health, you might reach out to a trusted friend for their opinion. Now, Florida Hospital for Women can be that friend through a free and confidential care navigation service that provides local women with expert assistance from a registered nurse in coordinating and managing all of their healthcare needs.
What’s a Women’s Health Navigator?
When Florida Hospital for Women opened in 2016, the personal health navigator service was introduced to provide women in the Central Florida community with a trusted ally to lean on as they navigate the extensive Florida Hospital Care Network. The women’s health navigator is a specially trained registered nurse who guides women through appointments, testing and treatments, cutting through all of the confusion.
That nurse is Doreen Forsythe, BSN, RN, who has been affiliated with Florida Hospital since 2001. Her familiarity with the hospital’s network is the key to her success in this role, where she uses her clinical background to answer healthcare questions, connect patients with the correct provider, coordinate care among different providers, discuss insurance issues and educate patients about the resources and support services that are available to them.
“I’m able to take the small steps with them in the beginning and walk them through the whole process,” Forsythe says. “It’s rewarding to take a stressful situation and essentially hold their hand through the whole thing.”
She describes herself as a woman’s best friend in healthcare – someone they can trust with even their most sensitive moments. Most importantly, women don’t need to have a specific request to utilize this concierge service.
“They can call if they’re having symptoms and don’t know where to begin,” Forsythe says. After listening to their concerns, she points them in the right direction and connects them with a specialist they might not even know exists, such as a pelvic floor therapist or urogynecologist.
Support for the Sandwich Generation
While the women’s health navigator service was designed with women in mind, Forsythe has found that her expertise also benefits men. Studies have shown that 85 percent of women make health care decisions for themselves and their families, so the relationship she builds with a woman can extend to those closest to her, including her spouse and children. This new generation of women is known as “the sandwich generation” because they are often tasked with caring for their own children as well as their aging parents.
Forsythe has healthcare experience across the board, ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics and everything in between. So when a woman she has already helped calls back for advice after her spouse is diagnosed with a specific ailment or if she needs support in her caretaker role, Forsythe walks with her through that journey as well.
Even more, Forsythe helps individuals who already work within the healthcare system. “We’ve found that healthcare has grown so much that even people with medical experience need help, not just someone who has no medical knowledge,” she says.
As the women’s health navigator, Forsythe also educates employees within the Florida Hospital network about the resources that are available, and she assists community members who have medical backgrounds with finding their way in an expansive system.
An Advocate for Women
The beauty of this service is that it can help the whole family, but one of the first things Forsythe does when she receives a new call is ask about the woman’s health. When did she last see her primary care doctor? Has she had a mammogram? Does she visit her gynecologist regularly? The answers to these questions give her insight about whether or not the woman is putting her health first. As a mother of six, Forsythe knows that life can get hectic and Mom’s health screenings are often put on the backburner.
“I help make sure they’re on track themselves so they can be stronger for their family,” she says.
Through her role as a women’s health navigator, Forsythe considers herself a true advocate for women in the community. From getting new residents established with a primary care doctor to helping pregnant women take the necessary steps for delivering at a specific hospital to guiding women through a medical crisis, she is by their side every step of the way.
“I love hearing other people’s stories,” she says. “It’s just amazing how strong the women are that I speak with and how much they’re going through. When I can take something off their plate or make it easier for them, those are the days I can leave here with my head high.”
Learn more at HerHealthNavigator.com or call the women’s health navigator directly at 407-720-5191. Together, we’ll keep your healthcare on track for a lifetime.