Christen Sewell enjoys a good challenge. And early in her career, she shouldered a big one when she became manager of oncology and infusion services at the brand new cancer center at UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge.
As a highly trained radiation therapist, she is a front-line veteran in the fight to beat cancer. She is grateful to have such an important role in the lives of cancer patients, more so because they are sometimes friends and neighbors she has known since she was growing up in nearby Humboldt.
“I’ve had the privilege of helping some of my friends’ parents go through their cancer journey, so that’s been really humbling,” Sewell said. “We’re all a little community here and we all come together and care for each other.”
“People always say, ‘Oh, you work in a cancer center. That must be really depressing.’ And I always say, actually, it’s a very joyful place to work. The patients that you come to know, they become your family. They ask you how your weekend was. They want to know about what’s going on in your life. So we really get to know them.”
Even in a fight as big as cancer, it’s the little things that matter. Like helping a patient reschedule her appointment so she could attend a granddaughter’s rodeo competition. “She just gave me the biggest hug and started crying. And she’s like, ‘You don’t know what this means to me to be able to do that.’ So that was really something that I will never forget.”
She is happy to be back home and grateful to be serving her community through the hospital.
“Looking back, I am glad that I chose to come back here to the community. I get to be close with my family. My sister has since moved back and I get to see my nephews. I really enjoy the little commute that I have.
“I think we do an amazing job at just making sure that we’re always living up to our values here at our hospital and making sure the patients have the greatest experience they can in a difficult situation.”Share this story.