Patient Navigator leads cancer patients on positive journey to survivorship

By Guest Columnist: Rozanne Prather
Communications Director for Truman Medical Centers

The can-do spirit of Susan G. Komen is alive and well at Truman Medical Centers (TMC).

A two-hospital, not-for-profit health system located in Kansas City, MO, its downtown location, TMC Hospital Hill, is the largest provider of outpatient specialty care in Kansas City, operates the busiest adult emergency department in the city, and has one of the top Level 1 trauma centers in the metropolitan area.

TMC logoBut for patients with a breast cancer diagnosis, TMC’s greatest distinction is being a lifeline – a hope-filled resource for body, mind and spirit – in their journey to survivorship.  It’s the lifeline that Suzy Komen had hoped for.

With breast cancer being one of the most treated types of cancer at TMC, the hospital’s partnership with Susan G. Komen of Greater Kansas City is essential.

Yes, the latest and greatest medical treatments at TMC are triumphing over cancer.  But to get her chapter in the “my cancer is history” book, a breast cancer patient needs more than medicine.  She needs a Navigator.

For women living in the city’s urban core, TMC’s Patient Navigator program has been making a difference since 1998.  Funded by Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City, the Navigator guides 64 newly-diagnosed cancer patients each year from their diagnosis through surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and recovery.  The Navigator enables clinical staff to enter the patient’s world on “a bridge of empathy,” helping to advocate for and with each woman.

The Patient Navigator at TMC is a highly-skilled and experienced cancer care expert.  Walking beside each patient, the Navigator leads and encourages each woman in her new realities:  countless medical appointments and life-changing physical and emotional effects.  The Navigator goes above-and-beyond, ensuring a healthy recovery by providing meaningful support such as language translation, paperwork assistance, financial assistance, and nutrition education.  The program also promotes cancer screening and early detection through hospital and outreach events.

TMC’s award-winning Navigator is indeed a lifeline:  easing fears, calming nerves, and navigating a complex healthcare system.  But most importantly, with the support of Susan G. Komen, TMC’s Navigator is inspiring the hope each patient needs in their journey to breast cancer survivorship.

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