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Hope Menninger, MMS, PA-C, Inpatient Oncology

Hope Menninger, MMS, PA-C, was faced with the reality of cancer at an early age when her mother passed away from breast cancer at the age of 50; Hope was just 18. Her grandmother was also diagnosed with breast cancer, her aunt suffers from glioblastoma, and her uncle is living with multiple myeloma. Hope attended Yale Divinity School where she graduated in 2010 and became a hospital chaplain. Frustrated that she could not fully understand what patients were going through, she decided to go back to school and become a Physician Assistant, while working as an EMT and chaplain part-time.

When Hope saw an opening for an inpatient oncology role at Smilow, she knew it would be a unique and challenging opportunity. As an Oncology Advanced Practice Provider (APP), Hope cares for patients receiving treatment for various cancers and helps them manage their side effects, and also the emotional and spiritual impact of cancer. Knowing firsthand what it is like to love someone with cancer, Hope uses her own experiences and knowledge to assist families making difficult end-of-life decisions.

"Loving someone with cancer is not the same as having cancer, but I understand how cancer affects the entire family," said Hope. "We see a lot of different outcomes. Some patients are discharged after chemo and they have a success story, but some patients are here at the end of their lives, or they are transitioned to hospice care. Those scenarios are hard, but I am so honored to be a part of that conversation and offer my insight and support to patients and families."

Vanna M. Dest, MSN, APRN, BC, AOCN, Manager, Oncology Advanced Practice Providers, commented, "Hope joined the Inpatient Oncology APP team in the summer after graduating from PA school and relocating to New Haven. She has been able to incorporate her work as a Chaplain into her current role as she cares for and interacts with oncology patients and their caregivers. She has a kind-hearted, gentle approach with her patients."