Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas (Hope For HH) is happy to announce the new HH Program Coordinator for PCH – Diana La Rocque RN, BSN, CPN
Ms. Diana LaRocque is the neurology nurse program coordinator for Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She specializes in coordinating patient care across the healthcare continuum for patients with complex epilepsy and the Hypothalamic Hamartoma Program. She serves as a communication liaison between patients, families, and interdisciplinary team, provides education and support, and ensures completion of diagnostic workup and consults.
Ms. LaRocque holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and is a certified pediatric nurse. Although she is new to the nurse program coordinator position, she has worked a nurse on the neurological medical/surgical unit for approximately five years, taking on a charge nurse role for the last two of those years. She is very excited for the opportunity to be taking on this new role as the neurology nurse program coordinator at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Diana is taking over the position at PCH from Maggie Bobowitz – who will continue to be the HH Program Coordinator for adult HH patients at Barrow Neurological Institute – St Joseph’s Hospital.
We caught up with Diana and asked her a few questions:
How long have you been in the nursing field?
I have been in the nursing field for almost 6 years (as of February). I started my nursing career at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, AZ, working as a bedside nurse on a general pediatric medical-surgical unit.
How long have you been at PCH and what types of jobs have you had?
I have been at PCH for 5 ½ years. When I first started working here, I was a bedside nurse on a Neurology/Orthopedic/Solid Organ Transplant medical-surgical unit. I was primarily assigned to working with the neurology population. I have a few years of experience working in our pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit as well. For the last 2 ½ years of my bedside experience, I have also taken on the role of being a charge nurse on the unit whenever they needed one. After 5 ½ years of inpatient nursing, I am now working outpatient as the epilepsy nurse program coordinator.
Have you worked with/cared for any HH patients in the past?
Inpatient, as a bedside nurse on a neurology unit, I have taken care of several patients with HH. Majority of these patients were post-surgical patients who were admitted after receiving HH surgery. As a bedside nurse, I would monitor these patients very closely in any post-op complications, provide adequate pain medication, and do lots of education with patients/family.
Do you expect the HH Program at PCH to stay the same, or so you see changes on the horizon?
I definitely believe there are changes on the horizon when it comes to the HH Program at PCH. Just from the time I started working at PCH, there has been significant change with how surgical procedures are approached for patients with HH. We now have the technology of thermal laser ablation therapy available, which provides a much less invasive approach to treat HH. Patients also now recover much quicker post-op and have less complications. I know as technology keeps improving, there will always be ways to enhance the HH Program as well.
What is the best way for patients to reach you? Phone or email, both?
I am available both via phone or email. My phone in (602) 933-0468 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you like to do with your free time - not that you have a lot of that 😉
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, just catching up. My husband and I also love to travel and get out of town once in a while, even if it’s just a day trip up north. We also enjoy going to music concerts and festivals.
Is there anything you would like families and patients to know about you?
I want to provide the best possible care for our patients and families. I like getting to know families and want to make sure I address all their questions/concerns. I enjoy teaching and providing education in order to ease their minds if I can.
Thank you for sharing with us Diana! We look forward to working with you, and I know families will be thrilled to meet you and know that their child’s needs will continue to be the priority at Phoenix Children’s Hospital!