Funding Supports Patient Navigators for Mainers
Maine Cancer Foundation (MCF) today announced its most recent funding awards totaling $489,557, distributed to three organizations who will create patient navigator positions that identify and eliminate barriers preventing individuals from getting high quality cancer care. They are three-year, capacity-building grants in which each organization will absorb the cost of the navigator position once the grant period ends. MCF grants support Maine-based nonprofit organizations working to further the MCF mission to reduce cancer incidence and mortality in Maine.
Patient Navigators work individually with cancer patients and community members to help them access prevention information, appropriate screenings, and logistical support to access the best possible care. Since 2015, MCF has invested $2,344,480 to support patient navigation in Maine.
The most recent grantees are:
This grant will help to provide needed oncology patient navigation services at the Jefferson Cary Cancer Center by creating a full-time oncology nurse navigator position. Funds will also be used to provide the navigator with the evidence-based navigation training and certification needed to support low-income cancer patients in Aroostook County.
The Katahdin Valley Health Center Patient Navigator Project will expand its Patient Assistance Department in providing outreach, education and navigation to increase the number of eligible KVHC patients to complete on-time, recommended colorectal screenings, mammograms, and cervical screenings. The goal is to increase cancer screenings, prevention, early detection, and access to quality care for adults between the ages of 21 and 75, and improve health outcomes.
Greater Portland Health is working to increase preventative cancer screening rates among minority population age-appropriate patients to reach established organizational targets for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, along with Hepatitis C testing to prevent liver cancer. As experts in providing culturally sensitive care to greater Portland’s underserved minority populations, outreach workers serving as patient navigators and cultural brokers within their communities will be effective in engaging the target population in order to reach the health center’s priority goals.
“A cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest things that can happen to a person, and a trained Patient Navigator can make all the difference,” says Tara Hill, MCF’s Executive Director. “Navigators guide a cancer patient through their journey, helping them to access the best possible care, locate financial and transportation resources, and ensure the patient and their family are aware of all of the possible support available.”