A Career Built on
Compassion

From a very young age, Marian
Hines knew she wanted to spend...

read more

Beyond the Bonds
of Sisterhood

In honor of Mother's Day on May 11,
we invited all of our members to...

read more


Marian Hines, RN: A Career Built on Compassion


Tuesday, May 6, is National Nurses Day – a day to recognize and honor the many men and women who spend their days providing care and compassion to patients in hospitals and doctors' offices. In recognition of the thousands of nurses who work for Dignity Health, this month we are profiling one of our many exceptional nurses – Marian Hines of the Mercy Cancer Center.

From a very young age, Marian Hines knew she wanted to spend her life reaching out to others. "Even when I was very young growing up in Alaska, I would spend my time volunteering at the local shelter. I always knew I wanted to help people."

When her grandfather became gravely ill with prostate cancer, Marian was moved by the hospice nurse who cared for him. "Seeing how compassionate she was and how hard she worked to ease his pain really touched me. That had a big impact on me." That nurse encouraged Marian to look into nursing as a career. She decided that was the right path for her and attended nursing school at the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

After spending ten years working various roles in oncology in Alaska and California, Marian decided to make the move to Sacramento and Dignity Health two years ago. "I had always wanted to work at a comprehensive cancer center. The multi-faceted nature of the care patients receive at a comprehensive center was really appealing to me. So when I heard about the Mercy Cancer Center opening up, I jumped at the chance!"

In fact, Marian was the first nurse at the center when it opened in 2012. She works in the radiation oncology unit, where her days can include everything from patient education and counseling to coordination of care and psycho-social support for the patient and the family. "I think the most important thing we do is provide comfort for our patients and their loved ones. We see these patients for a long period of time – through diagnosis, treatment... at all the various stages. We become like family together."

For Marian, knowing that she made a difference eases the pain when a patient does not survive their cancer. "I really feel that caring for my patients is an honor. It is such an intimate thing, caring for someone as they decline and as they near the end of their life... I try to focus on making a difference in their final days and easing their pain. And after they pass, I find comfort in knowing they are not suffering anymore."

When she is not helping her patients at the Mercy Cancer Center, Marian enjoys spending time with her husband and 9-year old son. Cooking and travelling are two favorite past times. And when she heads home to Alaska, she always tries to make time to volunteer at the shelter and medical center that serves native Alaskans.

In honor of Nurses Day, Marian says the most important advice she can share with others is that nurses are here to help. "We want to advocate for you. We want to help you and provide comfort. So don't be afraid to ask questions or ask for what you need – that is why we are here!"

For more information about the Mercy Cancer Centers – now with two locations, one on C Street in Sacramento and one on the Mercy San Juan Medical Center campus in Carmichael, visit their website. Mercy Cancer Centers offer advanced diagnostic imaging and radiation therapies backed by the full continuum of surgical, infusion and support services.

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Beyond the Bonds of Sisterhood


In honor of Mother's Day on May 11, we invited all of our Care Begins With Me members to write to us and share the story of an inspirational mother figure in their lives. We received some wonderful responses and were touched by the heartwarming praise women offered to other women in their lives. We decided to share the story of Wanda and her sister Beverly - sisters whose bond goes far beyond just siblings.

Wanda wrote and said she wanted to tell us about the most wonderful, loving and encouraging person she knew - her sister Beverly. "She has been a beacon of light in my life since we were young," says Wanda. "She has always included me and supported me in everything she does. I know what it is like to have a second mom!"

Beverly has three children and six grandchildren of her own and also spent many years caring for her and Wanda's father, who lived to be 94 years old. Beverly worked at the Children's Hospital of Oakland but has retired to care for their 91 year old mother. "Together she and my mom have opened a daycare. My mom's job is to rock the babies!"

Wanda says she wanted to share her sister's story as a way of honoring all the support Beverly has provided to her over the years, including during times of illness and struggle. "She has always been a support to me and to my five children and six grandchildren. When I suffered a stroke in 2013, she took care of me and she and her daughter provided for our parents. She kept supporting me and telling me to get well."

To Wanda, Beverly has gone beyond just the role of sister. "I love her so much. She is an angel sent from God."

To Wanda and Beverly, and all the caring and inspiring women out there - Happy Mother's Day!

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