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Exempla Saint Joseph Features ACS' Patient Navigator Program

March 20, 2008
Exempla St. Joseph features ACS’ Patient Navigator Program -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Denver Nursing Star The American Cancer Society has launched its Patient Navigator Program at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver, thanks to support received from AstraZeneca. This is the fifth site in Colorado included in a strategic nationwide effort to significantly extend the reach of the Society’s innovative Patient Navigator Program, a comprehensive initiative designed to assist individual cancer patients in negotiating the health care system. AstraZeneca has pledged $10 million to the American Cancer Society to accelerate development of at least 50 new Patient Navigator Program sites over a five-year period in communities throughout the United States. AstraZeneca’s support will permit the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital to offer its services full-time, expanding the resources and reach of the program. According to American Cancer Society estimates, nearly 19,000 Coloradoans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2008. "A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing experience for patients, their families and their caregivers," said Mandy Hodach, American Cancer Society patient navigator at Saint Joseph Hospital. "I’m here to provide support every step of the way, from explaining what to expect with chemotherapy, to making sure patients have transportation to and from appointments. Fighting cancer is a difficult, challenging journey; but with the help of trained navigators, patients don’t have to go through it alone." The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program directly connects cancer patients to local education and support specialists – known as "navigators" - who, through one-on-one relationships, serve as personal guides to patients as they face the psychological, emotional and financial challenges of their cancer experience. The initiative is free and confidential, and places an emphasis on assisting the medically underserved. Navigators for the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program provide patients, survivors and caregivers with social services and programs, as well as resources tailored to the local community. As no cancer experience is the same, navigators also are equipped to provide patients with customized, high-quality, current, easy-to-understand cancer-related information. Navigators seek to improve quality of life for cancer patients, families and caregivers throughout the continuum – from time of diagnosis, through treatment, into survivorship. Furthermore, navigators are able to increase treatment compliance and follow-up care through a greater understanding of issues. "AstraZeneca is thrilled to be the first corporation to give nationwide, large-scale support to the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program. Expanding the Patient Navigator Program in Colorado, where our employees live and work, is the perfect way to continue our collaboration," said Lisa Schoenberg, vice president of Specialty Care, AstraZeneca LP. "This is the beginning of a new chapter in AstraZeneca’s commitment to personalized cancer care. We are proud to support the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program in its mission of improving patient outcomes, not only in Colorado, but in communities throughout the country." The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program provides guidance for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers to help them navigate the cancer experience, with a focus on eliminating barriers to cancer care for the medically underserved. Formally launched in 2005, the Patient Navigator Program, in collaboration with community-based hospitals and cancer centers, links those affected by cancer to patient navigators who serve as personal guides for patients as they face the psychological, emotional and financial aspects of their unique cancer experience. Patient navigators receive national-level training through the American Cancer Society, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute Patient Navigation Research Program navigators, as well as localized training and opportunities for ongoing education. There are currently 87 American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program sites across the U.S., including five located in the Denver/Boulder metropolitan area. The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program is a component of the American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Network, a suite of free, comprehensive resources to help patients and their caregivers manage the impact of cancer on their lives by providing, day-to-day help, and emotional support. The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org. AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $29.55 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.35 billion dollar healthcare business with 12,200 employees committed to improving people’s lives. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information visit www.astrazeneca-us.com. More than 130 years ago, Saint Joseph Hospital was established in Denver as the first private hospital in Colorado. Today, Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital is one of the most respected hospitals in Denver and remains a Catholic health care facility in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas. Saint Joseph Hospital cares for more patients on an inpatient basis than any other hospital in the Denver metropolitan area. It continues as the largest private teaching hospital in Denver and is committed to serving our patients with high quality care. The hospital provides a tradition of caring that includes compassionate caregivers, stellar clinical expertise and the most advanced technology available. For more information, please visit www.exempla.org.