Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Linda Fleisher Appointed Co-Chair of American Cancer Society’s National Navigation Roundtable

Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, an associate research professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control research program
Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, an associate research professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control research program

PHILADELPHIA (January 26, 2022)—Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, an associate research professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, was recently appointed co-chair of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) National Navigation Roundtable (NNRT).

Patient navigators act as intermediaries between patients and their clinical care team across the cancer continuum, from access to screening to survivorship. They assist patients through the treatment process by connecting them to resources and providing information that allows them to make informed decisions. The goal of patient navigation is to eliminate barriers to access for health services.

“The idea of the roundtable is to bring various stakeholders together to have a big tent for patient navigation where we can strategize about the kinds of policies, and potentially legislation, that need to be put in place. It’s really to connect these various organizations in the field of navigation to create long-term sustainability of this profession,” Fleisher said.

The roundtable, which was started in 2017, consists of over 50 members who, through patient navigation, work toward achieving health equity and access to quality care. Members of this national coalition include organizations and invited individuals from areas such as academia, public health, advocacy and survivor groups, and more.

Fleisher has served on the steering committee for the NNRT for the last five years. In that role, has been responsible for leading much of the communication efforts for it. 

Fleisher said much of her work in the new position will focus on activities surrounding sustainability of patient navigation. This work will include efforts to create a designation for navigation as a profession and, ultimately, reimbursement for those individuals in the field.

“Navigators are part of the clinical team in the sense that they’re supporting patients, but they’re not providing direct clinical care. Therefore, it’s not currently reimbursable,” said Fleisher. “It’s a major issue in the field because basically where organizations have navigators, the organization has seen the value and supports those positions, but it is challenging for long-term sustainability.”

Fleisher, who also serves as chair for the Public Awareness and Communications Task Group for ACS, will continue to support public awareness of the NNRT through membership, partnership, and other outlets.

“It’s quite an honor to step into this role, and there’s a lot to be done in terms of moving this profession forward, but the ACS provides great resources and support for these efforts. I’m looking forward to working closely with them to progress this field,” Fleisher said.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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