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Gila Regional Cancer Center Caregiver Profile – Kelly Rodriguez, AVPN, RN – Interim Director

Photo Caption: Kelly Rodriguez, AVPN, RN, Interim Director at the Gila Regional Cancer Center

In addition to her regular role of Assistant Vice President of Nursing (AVPN) at Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC), Kelly Rodriguez is also the Interim Director at the Gila Regional Cancer Center (GRCC). She has been a nurse for 11 years and part of her nursing experience includes Oncology.

"I pretty much have worked in all aspects of nursing at GRMC," said Mrs. Rodriguez. "It started in Med Surg and then I moved to Oncology. After that I worked with another nurse to establish infusion therapy at GRMC and then I moved to the float pool for awhile. Later I became a House Supervisor, and then I became the Clinical Educator. From there I became an Administrative Resource Nurse Leader and most recently the Assistant Vice President of Nursing. In addition to the AVPN position I am managing the Cancer Center as the Interim Director until a Practice Director can be hired."

As the GRCC transitions from the New Mexico Cancer Center to the University of New Mexico (UNM) Comprehensive Cancer Center as the cancer care provider, Kelly has been very busy ensuring that care continues for the existing cancer patients.

"I think the change is good," said Kelly. "My primary goal as the Interim Director is getting patients connected with the care they need, no matter what choice they make. I would like to say to the cancer patients that may be considering going out of town for services that we are not closing and there are many familiar faces still here from the original staff. Our goal is to ensure that our patients and community are well cared for."

The contract with UNM was signed on Monday, July 17, 2017 and three oncologists are in the process of being credentialed to cover patient care once a week at the Cancer Center. This is only temporary until a full time oncologist can be put in place to cover services Monday through Friday.

"Kelly is a wonderful nurse and such a compassionate and caring person" said Taffy Arias, Chief Executive Officer of GRMC. "She has experience in so many areas and is truly driven to provide all our patients with the very best care possible."

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