Types of navigators
Franciscan Cancer Care has three kinds of cancer navigators:
Registered Nurse (RN) Navigators
Registered nurse (RN) navigators have specialized training and experience in cancer care. These registered nurses can work closely with a patient's medical team to assure that they are on the right path to receive the care needed for diagnosis. Due to their specialized training, the RNs can teach patients and their loved ones about the disease and what to expect with treatment. They can review treatment plans and answer medical questions and concerns. They can also answer questions about cancer clinical trials and review a patient's eligibility with his or her doctors. Franciscan currently has three RN navigators, each serving a special population:
RN Breast Cancer Navigator Susan Nixon serves breast cancer patients
RN Thoracic Cancer Navigator Debbie Hellers serves thoracic cancer patients and lung nodule clinic patients
RN Navigator Jenna Lewis serves cancer patients in the Gig Harbor area
American Cancer Society Navigators
American Cancer Society navigators assist patients with practical concerns as they embark on your cancer journey. This navigator is not a medical team member, but a resource support person for patients and their family members. This person offers assistance with wigs, prescriptions, utility bill issues, and links to support programs and other community resources. Based on the patient's area of residence, the navigator may be able to arrange transportation to cancer appointments and register the patient for classes to improve their quality of life during and after cancer treatment. The navigator's services are free of charge and available to any cancer patient, caregiver or survivor in the community. This service is a collaborative effort of the Franciscan Cancer Program and the American Cancer Society.
American Cancer Society Navigator Nicole McKay
Community-based Cancer Navigators
Community-based lay breast cancer navigators serve high-risk women in the community who may lack access to breast cancer screening and care. Franciscan's award-winning breast cancer navigation program is a collaboration with the Korean Women’s Association with major funding provided by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
This program focuses on assisting low-income, primarily non-English speaking women in getting mammograms and appropriate breast cancer care if they are diagnosed with breast cancer. The program provides navigators in the Spanish-speaking, African American, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer (LGBTQ), Cambodian, Vietnamese, Korean, Laotian, Samoan, Chammoro and other Pacific Islander communities.
Community navigators are not medical providers, but they are available to assist women with finding a doctor, scheduling a mammogram, arranging assistance with transportation, accompanying women to appointments as needed, advocating for women during medical appointments, diagnostic procedures and treatment, assisting with locating resources, and supporting women with breast cancer through their healthcare journey. They can work with all other navigators to assure that each patient has the best medical care, the resources she needs and the support and friendship that can make a real difference during and after a cancer diagnosis.
2012 Community-based Cancer Navigators