HCN News & Notes

Becky Puchalski Joins Mass General Cancer Center at CDH

NORTHAMPTON — Losing a parent to cancer at any age is traumatic. For Becky Puchalski, the loss has shaped her life’s work.

Puchalski, who lost her mother to cancer when she was just 3 years old, grew up knowing she wanted to help people. After graduating from high school, she attended Mass Bay Community College and later earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Chamberlain College. Her nursing career began at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, where she worked in the operating room.

Wanting to specialize in oncology nursing, Puchalski left CDH for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and later worked at the Baystate Surgical Oncology program. In July, Puchalski returned to her previous employer, Cooley Dickinson, as the nurse navigator in the Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

Patients and members of their families often have a lot of fear and anxiety about a diagnosis of cancer. In her new role, Puchalski helps patients manage the many twists and turns of a cancer diagnosis.

“Our focus is on caring for the person diagnosed with cancer,” she said. “It’s individualized care for whatever someone may need at any particular point in their diagnosis, treatment, and beyond, even into survivorship.”

The new Mass General Cancer Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital is expected to open this fall.

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