Organizations like ACS are working to eliminate these differences through patient navigation. Common challenges in cancer care and patient navigation solutions include:
- language barriers: Some patients do not speak or understand the language of their healthcare system. This can lead to misunderstandings and frustration. Many patient navigators serve as translators.
- lack of transport: Some patients lack personal transportation and may struggle with public options. This can lead to delays in appointments. Patient navigators can coordinate transportation for appointments.
- Personal finances: Some patients live on tight budgets. This can limit their ability to cover treatment costs out of pocket. Patient Navigators can help patients find and apply for financial assistance.
- Technological hurdles: Some patients do not have a computer at home or regular internet access. This can make finding care difficult. Some patient navigators reach patients in places like the grocery store. They provide paper resources such as brochures with contact information. This helps patients who lack technological resources to use patient navigation.
Patient navigation services provide assistance with these and other treatment accessibility challenges. Research shows that these efforts are helping to eliminate inequalities in care.
Which Hospitals Receive Patient Navigation Grants?
In this round, 14 hospitals received grants for patient navigation in their cancer programs. These grants aim to strengthen these hospitals’ existing oncology patient navigation services. Other cancer centers and hospitals may receive grants as funds become available.
The hospitals receiving a portion of the 2022 grants are:
- Boston Medical Center (Boston, Massachusetts)
- City of Hope (Los Angeles, California)
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (Seattle, Washington)
- Harris Health System (Houston, Texas)
- HIMA San Pablo Oncologico-Caguas (Caguas, Puerto Rico)
- Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center (Bronx, New York)
- Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, Illinois)
- The University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)
- The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
- University of Alabama Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama)
- University of Colorado Denver (Aurora, Colorado)
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
- VCU Massey Cancer Center (Richmond, VA)
The ACS grants give these cancer programs more resources to improve patient navigation. In addition to this funding, ACS will help programs identify best practices to improve patient outcomes. Together, these efforts can help achieve ACS’ goal of ensuring all patients have “a fair and equitable chance to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer.”