Cancer Patients Nationwide Can More Easily Navigate Health Care System


astrazenecaAstraZeneca and the American Cancer Society has announced a strategic collaboration to significantly extend the reach of the Society's innovative Patient Navigator Program" an initiative to assist individual cancer patients in negotiating the health care system. With major support from AstraZeneca, the American Cancer Society will accelerate development of at least 50 new Patient Navigator Program sites over the next five years in communities throughout the United States.

The first three sites to launch are Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle, Washington; Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care in Wilmington, Delaware; and, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois. The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program provides individualized personal guidance for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to help them navigate the cancer experience. The Society's initiative places an emphasis on assisting the medically underserved. As part of its ongoing organizational commitment to patient health, AstraZeneca has pledged USD$10 million to help fund the Society's Patient Navigator Program operations, as well the time of its local employees and other resources to support the program.

"A cancer diagnosis can be the most overwhelming experience a person may ever face, and we know that diagnosis is just the beginning of a challenging journey to successfully fight this disease," said Richard C. Wender, M.D., national volunteer president of the American Cancer Society. "While there are many uncertainties associated with cancer, the Patient Navigator Program can relieve some of these anxieties by providing personalized support and education for the needs of each patient and their families."

The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program, launched in 2005 in collaboration with numerous community-based hospitals and cancer centers, directly links those affected by cancer to targeted education and support specialists - known as "navigators"- who serve as personal guides for patients as they face the psychological, emotional and financial challenges in their cancer experience. Health care facilities that take part in the program are strategically selected to reach those populations with the greatest need. Navigators at each program location provide access to in-depth information and the established wealth of American Cancer Society cancer resources tailored to the patients' local communities.

"AstraZeneca is committed to improving health and quality of life in the communities where our employees work and live, and is proud to be the first corporation to provide nationwide, large-scale support for the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program," said Lisa Schoenberg, vice-president of Specialty Care, AstraZeneca LP. "Together, the American Cancer Society and AstraZeneca are committed to personalizing cancer care and ultimately supporting improved patient outcomes. Cancer is a life-changing experience. With a trained Navigator, cancer patients and their families do not have to brave this journey alone."

"Successfully treating cancer involves more than accurate diagnosis and effective therapies," said Harold P. Freeman, M.D., medical director of the Ralph Lauren Cancer Center in Harlem, New York, and a pioneer in the cancer navigation field. Dr. Freeman is also senior advisor to the director of the National Cancer Institute and a past volunteer president of the American Cancer Society. "We must tend to the whole patient experience including the psychological support which patients often need. Patient navigators directly assist patients by eliminating financial, communication and emotional barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment. This kind of support may be life saving."

The American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program is specifically designed to assist cancer patients and their families by:

• Connecting patients, survivors, and caregivers with social services and programs as well as local community resources

• Providing high-quality, timely, and understandable cancer-related information

• Providing support through a one-on-one relationship with trained American Cancer Society staff for cancer-related information and resources

• Increasing treatment compliance and follow-up care through a greater understanding of issues

• Improving quality of life for cancer patients, families and caregivers from the time of diagnosis, through treatment, into survivorship


About the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program

The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program provides guidance for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to help them navigate the cancer experience, with a focus on eliminating barriers to cancer care for the medically underserved. Formally launched in 2005, the Patient Navigator Program, in collaboration with community-based hospitals and cancer centers, links those affected by cancer to patient navigators who serve as personal guides for patients as they face the psychological, emotional and financial aspects of their unique cancer experience. Society patient navigators receive national-level training through the American Cancer Society, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute Patient Navigation Research Program navigators, as well as localized training and opportunities for ongoing education.

There are currently 60 American Cancer Society Patient Navigator program sites across the U.S. The Patient Navigator program is a component of the American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Network, a free, comprehensive resource to help patients and their caregivers manage the impact of cancer on their lives through up-to-date cancer information and referrals to Society programs and other community resources. For more information about how the American Cancer Society helps patients and caregivers, visit

About The American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, visit

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $26.47 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $12.44 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit:

source  MedicalNewsToday


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