The UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute is implementing a new statewide patient navigation program to help cancer patients across the state access needed prevention, screening, treatment and support services.
The program serves all Arkansans regardless of provider.
"We know advances in cancer treatment may not reach underserved communities, especially in low socioeconomic areas and among racial and ethnic minorities," said Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., associate director of Community Outreach and Engagement at the cancer institute. "Cancer navigation is critical to improve access to cancer prevention and care."
For Cancer Institute Director and UAMS Vice Chancellor Michael Birrer, M.D., Ph.D., cancer navigation is a moral imperative. "All Arkansans deserve access to state-of-the-art cancer screening regardless of economic or geographic differences.
“In addition, every Arkansan should have access to the best possible treatment including the new and novel cellular therapy and potentially lifesaving clinical trials," he said.
The cancer navigation program currently consists of a nine-member team of nurse navigators and locally placed community health experts who provide a broad range of support, including:
-- Appointment scheduling for screenings, tests, follow-up visits and other physician recommended care
-- Health education
-- Patient and caregiver navigation to social support services
-- Clinical trial access
Patient navigators and their locations in South Arkansas are: