Employee Profiles: Griserl Nieves

Griserl Nieves, Secretary for the Smoking Cessation Service at Smilow, considers herself to be a "Jack of all trades." In her role, she works with many of the programs at Smilow Cancer Hospital, including the Thoracic Oncology Program, the Breast Center, the Gynecologic Oncology Program, the Infusion Centers, and the Winchester Chest Clinic.
Developed by Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Benjamin Toll, PhD, the Smoking Cessation Service at Smilow aims to help patients quit smoking by combining counseling and drug treatment. Griserl is responsible for scheduling patients, whether they are referred to her by a nurse, or identified in the 'Tobacco Assessment' form that all patients fill out at their first visit. The key is to make them an appointment as soon as possible, while their motivation is high, and to schedule around their other appointments, so they do not have to make an extra visit to the hospital.
"A lot of people are hesitant and give me a reason why they don't want to quit smoking. A lot of them say that they have tried before and nothing works. My response to them is, 'you haven't tried us yet.' The next step is to set-up a meet-and-greet with Dr. Toll or one of our nurse practitioners, Helena Chmielowicz, APRN or Lisa Hoffer, APRN, and that usually captures their attention enough to try the program out," Griserl said. "We especially try and work with patients before they undergo chemotherapy, radiation, or an infusion, because success rates are higher. Also, if they quit smoking before surgery, it has been shown that there is less infection, and they heal faster. When I see someone I have worked with quit smoking and go on to successfully finish treatment, it's a wonderful feeling."
In the two years the program has been in operation, Griserl, who is also responsible for the data analysis, has seen the number of patients that have quit smoking grow, as well as the number of patients involved in the program. Dr. Toll commented, "Griserl really cares about our patients and has embraced the need for smoking cessation. Patients have commented that they like her disposition and appreciate her phone calls and reminders for appointments. She has a positive outlook which works well with our "gain-framed" outlook on our work."