Pet Cancer

Behind the scenes at the Flint Animal Cancer Center: How we prepare for your first visit.

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Your appointment is scheduled, and now the wait begins. While you may feel like you’re doing nothing to help your pet, you’ve actually taken a big step forward. You can take comfort in knowing that we are already working behind the scenes on behalf of your cherished companion.

In preparation for your pet’s first visit, Flint Animal Cancer Center client coordinators review your pet’s information and work with your veterinarian or other specialists to gather all of the relevant history, images, and records.

“Our goal is to help remove some of the worries from clients,” said Sandra Larson, Flint Animal Cancer Center client coordinator. “We know that this is an overwhelming and emotional time for families, and we do our very best to take the detailed work off of their plates.” 

The team acts as a bridge as you transition from your primary veterinarian or another specialist.

“It may take five emails and four phone calls, but our job is to make sure we fill in the information gaps to provide our clinicians with a complete medical history before the patient walks through the door,” said Connie Croak, clinic coordinator.

The initial leg work allows our medical team to present you with comprehensive treatment options at the end of your first visit. This advanced preparation supports our multimodality service and ensures that our medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists have the information they need to work together and with you to determine a plan of action.   

In addition to serving the information needs of our clinicians, our coordinators are also here to support you. Before your appointment, the team will send you an informational email to help you understand what to expect. They are also available to answer your questions leading up to your visit and well after.

 “Our coordinators are the backbone of what we do,” said Dr. Sue Lana, oncology service chief. “They help our clients with their information needs and let them know what to expect; they do the running around to gather the medical history our doctors need; they allow our doctors to focus on treating our patients.”

During this emotional time, it helps to think of the cancer journey as a marathon, not a sprint, and our team is with you and your pet every step of the way.

Meet the behind the scenes team

Sandra LarsonConnie CroakLisa Regan

Sandra Larson
joined the FACC in 2012 as our client coordinator. Before joining our team, she was a patient navigator at a human cancer center.  Sandra’s goal is to keep information flowing, making sure our clinicians have the records they need, and ensuring client preferences are learned and shared.

Connie Croak began her veterinary career as a certified veterinary technician before moving in to practice management. Today, she is FACC’s clinic coordinator. Connie helps with patient records review and gathering diagnostic and imaging records from referring veterinarians. Connie lost her father and mother in law to cancer and walked through cancer treatments with her cherished dog, Walker. She feels privileged to support others through their pet’s cancer journey.

Lisa Regan is also a certified veterinary technician. Before working as a client coordinator, Lisa worked directly with patients in our oncology clinic. In honor of her father-in-law and his battle with cancer, Lisa is devoted to delivering the highest quality care possible to every patient so that, when the family leaves our hospital, they can say that our care and concern “made all the difference” in their cancer journey.

To contact one of our client coordinators, please email oncology@colostate.edu.