Karleen R. Habin, RN, BCCS, MPHC

Karleen R. Habin, RN, BCCS, MPHC

2011 Honoree

Research Nurse Specialist/Nurse Supervisor Breast Oncology Research Program

As the clinical research nurse at Mass General’s Gillette Center for Breast Cancer, Karleen Habin, RN, BCCS, MPHC, guides patients from across the country as they enroll and take part in clinical trials. Grateful patients repeatedly single out Karleen for her extraordinary attentiveness, compassion and commitment.

On her own time, and with her own resources, Karleen is also tireless in helping patients obtain services to cope with their illness. She is the founder and executive director of the Cancer Resource Foundation, Inc., which has enabled patients to access essential services that are not covered by some health insurance, including wigs and mastectomy prostheses.

Perhaps Karleen’s most important achievement has been to make free genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility available to state residents whose insurance does not cover this type of testing. Many women who meet clinical criteria for genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility genes (BRCA1/2) do not have insurance to cover such testing. Through her advocacy, Karleen has obtained funding for this potentially life-saving test. The foundation also makes other cancer genetic susceptibility testing available.

With devotion, determination and creativity, Karleen helps patients in and beyond her home state obtain the tools they need to fight cancer with dignity.

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