UAMS Launches New Cancer Patient Access System – Deltaplex News

LITTLE ROCK – UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute is implementing a new statewide patient navigation program to help cancer patients across the state access services for prevention, necessary screening, treatment and support. The program serves all Arkansans, regardless of provider.

“We know that advances in cancer treatment may not reach underserved communities, particularly in lower socioeconomic areas and among racial and ethnic minorities,” said Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., associate director of Community Outreach and Engagement at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. . “Cancer navigation is key to improving access to cancer prevention and care.”

For Michael Birrer, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Cancer Institute and Vice Chancellor of UAMS, cancer navigation is a moral imperative. “All Arkansans deserve access to cutting-edge cancer screening, regardless of economic or geographic differences. In addition, every Arkansan should have access to the best possible treatment, including new and novel cell therapy and trials. potentially life-saving clinics,” he said.

The Oncology Navigation Program currently consists of a nine-member team comprised of nurse navigators and local community health experts who provide a wide range of support, including:

  • Scheduling appointments for screenings, tests, follow-up visits and other doctor-recommended care
  • health education
  • Patient and caregiver navigation to social support services
  • Access to clinical trials

The patient navigators and their locations are:

Christina McSperritt and Alisha Howell serve as nurse navigators, helping patients through the treatment process by connecting them to resources and information to make informed decisions.

To log in with a navigator, patients can call 1-855-569-3691 or email [email protected] A medical referral is not required.

The program is informed by a 15-member Community Advisory Board made up of cancer survivors, caregivers, doctors, nurses and community leaders.

Cancer patient referral programs have emerged over the past decade as an effective strategy to improve patient access to the full continuum of cancer care. The program is a key part of the Cancer Institute’s progress toward becoming a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designed cancer center. Most NCI-designated cancer centers have patient navigation programs.

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