ACS Patient Navigator
Between the cancer clinic check-in and the atrium at the UW Carbone Cancer Center lies a small nondescript office with the words "Navigator" stenciled above the door. Behind the desk in this cozy space sits Shannon Webb, the American Cancer Society (ACS) Patient Navigator.
The Patient Navigator program, a service offered by ACS to the UW Carbone Cancer Center and other hospitals around the country since 2004, is a one-stop information center for cancer patients, and is free for all who participate.
Webb explains the mission of the position, and how she strives to help patients through a series of questions below.
What's the basic mission of the ACS patient navigator?
The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator program addresses the needs of patients, families and caregivers across the survivor continuum. The Patient Navigator provides cancer information, day-to-day help, and emotional support to cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones. Some specific ways we can help include connecting patients with American Cancer Society programs such as Look Good...Feel Better and Man to Man, finding resources to assist with transportation and lodging during treatment, helping patients learn about how to talk to their doctors, and finding local support groups.
We also help patients find answers to questions about financial and insurance needs and much, much more. Patients and caregivers may face numerous questions, needs, and concerns entering the cancer journey and the health care system, making a difficult time even more challenging.
What kind of patients are you looking to help?
While the Patient Navigator Program does work to guarantee uninsured and underinsured patients and those with other barriers to care receive the assistance they need, the services are not limited to those patients. I am here to help all patients that need assistance, as well as their loved ones and caregivers.
Describe the collaboration with staff at the Cancer Center. What interactions do you have with our staff?
The key contacts for the Society at the Center are Susan Hanauer, Cancer Clinics Manager and Stephanie Orzechowski, Director of Oncology Services. The ultimate goal is to become integrated into each of the departments to maximize the value of the Patient Navigator role. I am currently working on building opportunities for interaction with all.