Leading The Way in MIBG Therapy

Dawn Bartock

We are very fortunate to have Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital and an incredible pediatric nurse practitioner who is leading the charge with MIBG Therapy in our region.

Dawn Bartock, MSN, CPNP, CPHON, is the MIBG Therapy Program Lead at Levine Children’s Hospital. Being a nurse is all she has ever wanted to do. Dawn started her nursing career in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, including time with Pediatric Hospice, then joined Levine Children’s Hospital from 2005-2011. She obtained her nurse practitioner degree in 2011 and left LCH to further her career in Pediatric Oncology at Texas Children’s Hospital and at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she was the MIBG Therapy Nurse Practitioner. 

After Levine Children’s Hospital got the green light to build an MIBG Therapy Suite, Dr. Oesterheld – Dawn’s mentor – tapped her to lead the MIBG Therapy Program literally from the ground up. So in 2015, Dawn returned to Charlotte and to Levine Children’s Hospital. What started as a side project while she was working clinically as a nurse practitioner on the inpatient oncology unit, has become a full-time position where Dawn oversees every aspect of planning and building the ISF MIBG Therapy Suite. 

“Being a part of the MIBG Therapy Suite construction process has been rewarding and fun,” said Dawn who is currently taking a break from the clinical part of her job, which will resume when the MIBG room opens later this year. “I feel like the jack of all trades and love been involved in this project.”

Not only does she bring her previous MIBG experience to her role and vision of what this state-of-the-art MIBG program should entail, Dawn has a connection to Isabella. During her first stint at Atrium Health in the outpatient clinic, Dawn was one of Isabella’s nurses who assisted the oncology team with writing chemo orders, scheduling scans, and helping Erin and the family with questions and concerns throughout therapy. 

“Isabella was always a sweetheart who had the sweetest little voice,” said Dawn. “One of my biggest memories of Isabella is the relationship she had with her brother, Grant, and them holding hands during clinic visits. It is very exciting to be involved in Isabella’s legacy.”

Levine Children’s Hospital will be 1 of 20 hospitals to have a MIBG Treatment room in the U.S. and the only location in the Charlotte region. The two-room MIBG suite will provide targeted radiation to pediatric neuroblastoma patients with minimal side effects. This will impact kids fighting cancer beyond the greater Charlotte region and will eventually expand to include adults with rare tumors.

“It is very important that we tailored the suite to the patient and the family while keeping safety for the patients and staff the top priority,” said Dawn.

Patients will stay in the MIBG room 3-7 days after they get their injection. The suite is designed with an adjoining room for parents to stay and to be more involved with the day-to-day care of the patient. The MIBG room will have a giant viewing window and a close-circuit monitor for staff to have constant video access – and even remote access – to the patient. Area organizations and businesses are helping fund items such as parent gift baskets, iPads for the patients and specialized sheets that patients can choose upon their arrival. 

“There is a lot of support in Charlotte with the Isabella Santos Foundation, other wonderful organizations and from throughout our community to create a welcoming, positive and comfortable experience for the patients,” said Dawn. “This is an exciting time for the Isabella Santos Foundation and Levine Children’s Hospital.”

We are looking for individuals who want to be part of providing comfortable care for the kids/families that go through MIBG Treatment. Our MIBG Ambassador Program gives you the flexibility of raising $5,000 the way you want to raise it… 100% of funds raised through this program will be distributed very specifically through our LCH partnership with this very targeted MIBG purpose. {You do not have to be located in Charlotte to participate, contact Tia for details}