FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Colleen Valdini
Public & External Affairs Manager
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone: (631) 376-4104
Date: November 17, 2010
West Islip, NY – In order to better meet the needs of people who rely on Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center for their cancer treatment, the medical center has expanded upon its already successful breast cancer navigation program to include a more comprehensive patient navigation program for all cancer patients. Patient navigation is a relatively new concept in cancer care. It is a proactive approach to cancer care whereby trained personnel guide patients through and around any barriers they may encounter when seeking the cancer care. The primary goals of patient navigation are to decrease fragmentation of care and to better coordinate services for patients to ensure their care is as timely and as effective as possible.
Patient navigation is designed to problem-solve on behalf of individual cancer patients who may be facing tough obstacles. Some of the more common challenges patient navigators can address include coping with financial barriers to care, insurance issues, access to emotional support services that may be needed and such basic problems as obtaining transportation for patients’ caregivers. The patient navigation program will also extend Good Samaritan’s focus on community service through enhanced cancer screening programs and community education.
“Patient navigation opened my eyes to the fact that there is a process to healing,” said Sarina Allan, a breast cancer patient who was looking for support after undergoing a double mastectomy at another institution. “Everyone going through cancer has been affected in some way. By sharing stories, people can realize that cancer is not just a physical disease, but rather a spiritual and emotional battle and there is support out there.
One of the many services coordinated through the navigation program is the breast cancer support group. Since joining the group at Good Samaritan, I have a different outlook on battling my disease,” said Ms. Allan. “I felt like I was walking into a family concerned not only with my health but also with me as a person.” Good Samaritan offers groups that meet on topics including cancer, parenting, diabetes and other disease entities.
Good Samaritan’s cancer care services include a complete range of preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and supportive services, further enhanced by the new cancer patient navigation program. Approved by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a comprehensive community cancer center, Good Samaritan earned the Outstanding Achievement Award with three-year accreditation.
For more information on cancer patient navigation program or support groups at Good Samaritan Hospital, please call (631) 376-4444.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is a 537-bed (including 100 nursing home beds), voluntary, not-for-profit hospital located in West Islip. The medical center, which has more than 4,500 employees and almost 900 physicians on staff, had more than 30,000 patient admissions and more than 100,000 emergency room visits in 2009. Good Samaritan is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Visit the website at www.good-samaritan-hospital.org.
Good Samaritan provides more than $54 million in community service and charity care each year. The medical center supplies residents with the tools necessary to maintain good health. This includes community lectures, screenings, health fairs and other community programs and services.