Washington, DC-The COME HOME initiative, a 7-member oncology medical home practice partnership, has documented significant reductions in hospitalization rates, inpatient days, and total cost of care of approximately $5 million over a 6-month period, said Barbara L. McAneny, MD, at the Fifth Annual Conference of the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care.
You have just been diagnosed with cancer, and one of the first people you meet on your healthcare team is introduced as a navigator. “A what?” you think. “I need doctors, not a GPS!” But over time, you will realize this person is a great guide.

SAN ANTONIO—More than 300 oncology nurse and patient navigators discussed the advancement of their profession at the Second Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference, a forum for navigators to connect with one another and discuss the changing landscape of patient navigation and survivorship care for patients with cancer. “Ultimately, the networking of these professionals is so important to patient care, because it enables a forum for the sharing of ideas and experiences to impact practice,” said Sean T.

SAN ANTONIO—In conjunction with the Second Annual Navigation and Survivorship Conference, the Academy of Oncology Nurse Navigators (AONN) presented the Second Annual Excellence in Navigation and Survivorship Awards. Recognizing excellence in patient navigation and survivorship care, 5 recipients were selected from more than 60 nominations in a variety of categories.

Because cancer patients vary in their needs for cancer services, patients vary in the amount of navigation time they require. On a patient-by-patient basis, however, navigators congruously estimated the navigation intensity, and therefore the time requirement, that would be needed, reveals a first-of-its-kind study.

Patient navigation decreased treatment interruptions among Am - erican Indian patients receiving radiation treatment (RT) with curative intent in a recent study conducted at the Rapid City Regional Hospital Cancer Care Institute in South Dakota. The study also found a high rate of clinical trial participation among its patients. Similar patients who underwent treatment between 1991 and 2004 and did not receive navigation services acted as controls.

Navigators in the Tampa Bay area facilitate the provision of individualized care to help patients receive timely diagnostic resolution of abnormal breast and/or colorectal cancer screenings and get timely treatment. They address a multitude of issues related to transportation, insurance, family support, fear, and other emotions involved with a cancer diagnosis as well as the complexities of the healthcare system, said Ercilia R. Calcano, administrator of the Patient Navigator Research Program (PNRP) at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

Imbalanced investment and relational amelioration emerged as areas of care that were viewed differently by navigators and their patients in an analysis of perspectives from each group. Researchers from the University of Rochester interviewed 18 pairs of patients and navigators as part of a larger randomized controlled trial. In doing so, Yosha and colleagues identified struggles the navigators, in this study well-trained lay community health workers supervised by social workers, were experiencing but to which the patients were unaware.

For the up to two-thirds of men with azoospermia after chemotherapy, microdissection testicular sperm extraction (TESE) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can salvage fertility, according to the largest reported series of postchemotherapy microdissection TESE-ICI to date. Although prechemotherapy sperm banking remains a recommended part of any treatment plan, researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City demonstrated that assisted reproductive techniques should be offered to patients who did not preserve sperm.

Patient navigators facilitated almost 700 cancer screenings among Latino Medicare beneficiaries through a cancer prevention and treatment demonstration project for ethnic and racial minorities at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). The project seeks to address disparities in cancer screening rates in the elderly Latino population in the Newark, New Jersey, area. The project also is evaluating the impact of navigators to facilitate that screening.

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