News Center

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

St. Francis chosen as national pilot project site to aid cancer patients

INDIANAPOLIS – St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers has been selected by the Association of Community Cancer Centers as one of six national pilot sites for a project to develop and expand Nurse Navigator programs to help cancer patients and their families.

The ACCC Patient Navigation Program provides guidance and experience that will enhance the current St. Francis Nurse Navigator program. Navigators are experienced oncology nurses who help cancer patients, survivors, families and caregivers steer their way through health care system from the time of a cancer diagnosis to the completion of treatment and beyond.

"We are proud to have been selected as a pilot site by the ACCC," said Kent Brumbaugh, executive director of St. Francis Cancer Care Services. "Cancer treatment can seem very complex and bewildering to patients. That’s where a navigator can be a common thread to help weave the patient through the process and so that they feel supported throughout the journey."

Navigators help patients and their families in a number of ways, some of those include: scheduling medical appointments and follow-up care, coordinating insurance paperwork, arranging for transportation, and serving as a liaison between the patients and their physician when dealing with complicated medical matters.

"The diagnosis and treatment of complexities of being diagnosed with cancer and living with the disease for an individual, family member or caregiver can be intimidating and overwhelming," said ACCC President Ernest R. Anderson Jr., M.S., R.Ph. "Our hope is that ACCC’s Patient Navigation Program will facilitate timely access to quality medical and psychosocial care from pre-diagnosis through all phases of the cancer experience."

The ACCC pilot program augments the St. Francis Cancer Care Services’ Nurse Navigator program that has existed since 2006. Nurse navigators currently assist patients with colorectal, lung and breast cancers.

To learn more about Cancer Care Services at St. Francis go to

More information about the Association of Community Cancer Centers can be found at