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Vanna Dest, MSN, APRN, BC, AOCN

Vanna Dest, MSN, APRN, BC, AOCN, has been in oncology nursing since 1984 when she started as a staff nurse at the Hospital of Saint Raphael. She received her master’s from Yale School of Nursing in 1992 and practiced as an oncology clinical nurse specialist in radiation at Saint Raphael’s and later pursued her Post-Master’s Certificate in Oncology at Yale School of Nursing in 2002. She is currently the Senior Program Manager of the Oncology Advanced Practice Providers (APP) at Smilow Cancer Hospital and an Oncology Nurse Practitioner as part of the Center for Thoracic Cancers. She is a Clinical Lecturer at the Yale School of Nursing and has been teaching in the Oncology APRN Program/Concentration since 2008.

Vanna provides day to day administrative oversight and support for all oncology APPs. She fosters communication and their professional development. She is also involved in direct patient care for patients with thoracic malignancies. As part of the Extended Care Clinic, which opened in 2018, Vanna delivers urgent care to patients and provides opportunities for patients who need supportive care outside of normal clinic hours. Since the Smilow Rapid Evaluation Clinic opened last April, Vanna has worked to provide quick evaluation and testing of Smilow patients for symptoms of COVID-19, facilitating triage to the most appropriate location of care.

Vanna commented, “Oncology nursing has been my passion since my early teenage years and I truly could not imagine doing anything else. Although COVID has complicated things, our oncology patients continue to show tremendous strength and courage. In my current role, I feel that I have the best of both worlds—caring for patients and supporting and developing our dedicated, highly gifted APP team at Smilow Cancer Hospital and the Care Centers.”