Cancer and Specialty Care Patient Navigation
The Cancer and Specialty Care Patient Navigation Program strives to improve access to cancer and specialty care for all patients.
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Patient navigators specialize in motivational interviewing and in addressing the patient’s specific barriers to care. They not only help in navigating the systems, but also provide health education, reminders, support and accompaniment. They act as advocates and resource connectors to ensure patients get the care they need.
The Cancer and Specialty Care Patient Navigation Program, based at the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, strives to improve access to cancer and specialty care for all patients, especially those from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and from racial/ethnic minority populations. Patient navigators work with patients who are due for preventive cancer screenings, in need of follow up or diagnostic specialty appointments as well as patients that have been diagnosed with cancer. Patient Navigators also help patients who are referred to urgent follow up care at any MGH specialty or imaging department and aid them in the coordination and completion of appointments.
Cancer screenings and follow up diagnostic care can be such an important lifesaving health intervention, and yet for patients who are newly arriving from other countries, these screenings and follow up tests can be less well known or accepted. Having culturally-concordant and multilingual staff to help patients understand the value of preventative screening as well as the processes of these test has been invaluable in reducing the disparities that exist in screening and treatment rates between minority patients and their white counterparts at MGH Chelsea.
Studies at MGH Chelsea have found that navigation helps to decrease disparities in cervical cancer, breast and colon cancer screening rates. Download our studies below to learn more.
Impact of a culturally tailored patient navigator program on cervical cancer prevention.
An exploration of barriers to breast cancer screening among Iraqi women refugees.