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May 31, 2024

From planning to patient care: Nathan Wright's journey at the IU Health Schwarz Cancer Center

IU Health North Hospital

From planning to patient care: Nathan Wright's journey at the IU Health Schwarz Cancer Center

Written by Justin Haberstroh and Emma Avila, writers for IU Health’s Indianapolis Suburban Region

Nathan Wright played a crucial role in designing and leading the PET CT team at the IU Health Joe & Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center, where he focuses on enhancing patient care and comfort.

Nathan Wright, a PET CT technologist, was working on the IU Health Joe & Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center in Carmel, since the blueprint phase.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning is a medical imaging technique that uses radioactive substances to measure metabolic activity in the body. It can help diagnose conditions like cancer, neurological diseases and cardiovascular disease.

Wright has been with IU Health for 21 years. While working at IU Health Methodist several years ago, he was asked to consult on a potential layout for a cancer center. Every few months, Wright would find more information about the project. One month before the IU Health Schwarz Cancer Center opened, Wright was brought on as a team lead.

“When I learned that this cancer center was going to open, I found the people to tell that I wanted to come to Schwarz,” he explains. “I wanted to focus on cancer patients.”

Since making the transition to the IU Health Schwarz Cancer Center, Wright built a small, two-man team with Drew Dunivan. The two focus on a culture of helping patients and enjoying their work.

“There are three additional nuclear medicine techs in the hospital, but our departments are separate, so we’re really unique in that way,” Wright says. “So, for us, Drew and I have been being able to create our own culture here.”

Wright is extremely proud of the space and team he helped create. Before the doors opened, he provided feedback that went into the planning and design. His input included what equipment should be used in the space, making suggestions on the layout of the scan room and even helping make the space more comfortable for patients getting their scans.

Though he was first drawn to the technical part of his job, Wright truly enjoys interacting with patients and making an impact on their care.

“What drew me into this field was the technical side of stuff, but after a while, it gets really cut and dry,” he says. “Now, I get to impact people's treatment and therefore, lives, doing my work. It changes lives in a real way.”

If you have a natural inclination to care for others and want to make a difference in lives, IU Health may be the right career path for you. Learn more at

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