National Navigation Roundtable Supplement Highlights Importance of Patient Navigation

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

PHILADELPHIA (August 29, 2022)—In a recently published supplement, the American Cancer Society’s National Navigation Roundtable, which is co-chaired by a Fox Chase Cancer Center researcher, provided an extensive update on the state of patient navigation and its role in oncology care.

“This supplement is really laid out like the state of the nation in terms of where we are in navigation and oncology care. It’s a central set of articles that focus on where we are and what we need to be doing moving forward in terms of creating a sustainable long-term model of nurse, patient, and social work navigation,” said Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, associate research professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at Fox Chase and co-chair of the National Navigation Roundtable.

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 supplement, “A Decade Later: The State of Patient Navigation in Cancer,” outlines the impact patient navigation has on improving outcomes for cancer patients. It features 13 articles published by the National Navigation Roundtable covering such topics as professional standards, the successful implementation of patient navigation in cancer care, the roles of patient navigators during COVID-19, and several others.

“There is so much research that shows the value of patient navigation, whether it’s a nurse or an actual patient navigator, yet the majority of patient navigation programs are challenged in terms of being sustained and reimbursed,” said Fleisher. “These articles highlight that we’re at a place where we have the building blocks for that long-term sustainability. At the end of the day, this is really what helps underserved patients get access to care.”

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.

American Cancer Society Logo
American Cancer Society Logo

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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