NRCI’s Community Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program Reaches Screening Milestone

In 2010, the need to provide assistance to the low-income population of the region led the Cancer Institute to launch the Community Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program. Many navigation programs begin at diagnosis and work within one health system but the Cancer Institute’s program begins with screening and is a community-based program operating across health care systems, free-standing practices, and public and private agencies.

The Community Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program is a cancer screening initiative focused on barrier reduction and facilitating breast, cervical, and colon cancer screenings for NEPA residents. The program helps with identifying and reducing hurdles related to screening completion and diagnostic follow-up (if needed) while establishing or re-establishing medical homes for the targeted population. This program assists participants in steer through the complex healthcare system from prevention through aftercare; enhances screening rates; and reduces delays between diagnosis and treatment.

Since the program’s inception over 2,000 screenings were completed with assistance from the Patient Navigators. The Navigators made nearly 17,000 contact attempts to work directly with patients and healthcare providers to facilitate these screenings. A large part of the program is the educational component where patients receive one-on-one education about the importance of routine cancer screening via phone contact and written correspondence. The navigators provide assistance with connecting to patients to medical homes if they are without one, referring patients to available community resources to obtain screenings and working with other community organizations to address barriers such as lack of insurance, transportation, language, and competing priorities.

Screening compliance can ease concerns and result in prevention/early detection for many participants. The program helps to reduce pain and suffering, increase the effectiveness of treatment, lower costs to the community and ultimately increase the health and well being of our most vulnerable residents. Please contact us for more information about this program.