Brooklyn Cancer Patients to Benefit from Patient Navigation Program at Maimonides Medical Center

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American Cancer Society Program Provides Personal Guides to Help Local Patients Navigate Their Cancer Experience, Thanks To Support From AstraZeneca

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Brooklyn, NY (May 9, 2012) – The American Cancer Society today launched its Patient Navigator Program at Maimonides Medical Center, thanks to support received from AstraZeneca. This is the 127th Patient Navigator Program site and the fourth in New York that is part of a strategic nationwide effort to significantly extend the reach of this innovative program and assist individual cancer patients in negotiating the health care system.

“A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing experience for patients, their families and their caregivers,” said Carol Susan Becker, American Cancer Society director of patient and family services. “Our Patient Navigator Program helps patients focus on getting well by providing support every step of the way, from explaining what to expect during treatment, to making sure patients have transportation to and from appointments. Fighting cancer is a difficult, challenging journey; but with the help of trained American Cancer Society patient navigators, people don’t have to go through it alone.”

The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program directly connects patients to a cancer education and support specialist – known as a “patient navigator” – who, through one-on-one relationships, serves as a personal guide to patients and caregivers as they face the psychosocial, emotional and financial challenges that cancer can bring. The service is free and confidential, and places an emphasis on assisting the medically underserved.

AstraZeneca’s support will enable the launch of a full-time American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program at Maimonides Medical Center. According to American Cancer Society estimates, 34,140 people in New York will be diagnosed with cancer in 2012. This number includes the 204 people diagnosed with cancer every week in Brooklyn. The gift is part of a $10 million pledge by AstraZeneca to the Society to accelerate development of at least 50 new Patient Navigator Program sites over a five-year period (2007 to 2011) in communities throughout the United States.

"The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program at Maimonides will enable us to further assist patients with personalized community resources and support,” said Dr. Jay Cooper, Director of the Maimonides Cancer Center. “We are grateful to the American Cancer Society for supporting this vital program that helps our patients link to local resources that improve their outcomes and quality of life."

As the cancer experience is different for each patient, American Cancer Society patient navigators connect patients and caregivers with the most appropriate programs and services to help improve each individual’s access to health care and to help them on their journey to get well. Whether it is getting patients and caregivers the information they need to make treatment decisions and better understand their disease, helping them deal with the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer, such as transportation and insurance issues, or connecting them with community resources such as support groups, American Cancer Society patient navigators can provide help throughout the disease continuum – from the time of diagnosis, through treatment, into survivorship. Furthermore, navigators are able to increase treatment compliance and follow-up care.

"AstraZeneca understands that, in addition to making great medicines, more can be done through meaningful collaboration with patients, health care facilities, physicians and others in the community who share our mission of improving health. We are thrilled to be the first company to give nationwide, large-scale support to the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program", said Lisa Schoenberg, vice-president specialty care, AstraZeneca LP. "This new program at Maimonides is a testament to our commitment to help provide patients with personalized cancer care, not only in Brooklyn but in communities throughout the country."

About the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program:
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 and their caregivers to help them navigate the cancer experience – with a focus on eliminating barriers to cancer care for the medically underserved. Patient navigators receive national-level training through the American Cancer Society, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute Patient Navigation Research Program, as well as localized training and opportunities for ongoing education.

There are currently more than 130 American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program sites across the U.S. The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program is just one of the many American Cancer Society programs that help patients, their families, and caregivers manage the impact of cancer on their lives so they can focus on getting well.

Additional Reading:
Navigating Difficult Waters: History of Patient Navigation
Navigating Cancer
Staten Island Survivor Helping Others

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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

About AstraZeneca:
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings programs, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).

About Maimonides Cancer Center:
The Maimonides Cancer Center is a free-standing state-of-the-art facility providing the full gamut of preventive, diagnostic, treatment and recovery programs. Fully accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, the American College of Radiology, and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, the Maimonides Cancer Center offers highly-specialized services in a team approach, giving patients the benefit of multiple experts’ experience. For more information on the nationally recognized clinical services at the Maimonides Cancer Center, please visit www.maimonidesmed.org.