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Meet Jessica Gould-Hilburn – Patient Navigator

Meet Jessica Gould-Hilburn – Patient Navigator

Jessica Gould-Hilburn is a patient navigator at the Proton Center. She helps patients with the wide range of needs they have when they come to the center for treatment, such as explaining the process, recommending housing options and answering questions. She consistently hears from patients how kind and compassionate the staff at the Proton Center are, and she is proud to work with a team that has such high standards for patient care.

“Two things stand out about working here,” she says. “I am constantly humbled by the patients, who have such grateful hearts, given the ordeal they go through. And every person I’ve met at the center is here because they love their work. It’s nice to work with people with whom I’m aligned in that way.”

Gould-Hilburn grew up in Auburn, Washington, on a hobby farm with pigs, cows and her pony Tinkerbell. After high school, she went to Western Washington University in Bellingham and stayed in the area for 25 years.

She came to the Proton Center from management in other nonprofits. For many years, she worked with English language learners (ELLs) and native speakers with low literacy skills. It was rewarding work, but as she entered management, she missed seeing clients every day. She wanted to return to direct service work because “there is so much value in having day-to-day contact with the people you serve.”

She felt she was coming full circle when she found the patient navigator position at the center. Not only was she nearer to her childhood home and family, the connection to cancer was also meaningful. Her 10-month-old nephew had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia — which he overcame — and had qualified for a clinical trial at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. He is now eight years old, and six years cancer-free!

Gould-Hilburn raised two boys: Cameron, 22, who is studying to be a nurse and works at Seattle Children’s, and Liam, 19, who is about to become an electrician.

Last spring, she and Liam took a three-week road trip to see six national parks. Her favorite was Sequoia National Park in California. She likes to hike, and this past winter she learned how to cross-country ski., She also took a three-day backpacking trip in the Shasta wilderness last summer. “My goal is to learn something new to do outside every season,” she says.

Gould-Hilburn when she climbed Muir Snowfield on Mt. Rainier last year.

Stop by and say hello to Gould-Hilburn when you see her at the front desk at the Proton Therapy Center. And please let her know if you need anything. She is happy to be able to help.