The patient navigation world has a new kid on the block. Just when we thought we knew everything there was to know about navigators, the role has been reinvented by a concept so intuitive, it is difficult to believe that these navigators are not standard practice in oncology. Meet population health navigators—individuals dedicated to supporting a specific underserved population, including rural, Black, and Latinx populations, through culturally and linguistically competent navigation services for patients with cancer, their families, and their caregivers. These navigators share a cultural connection and language with their patients and are non-clinical professionals—legal specialists, social workers, advocacy experts—who bring valuable, real-world skills and experiences to patients’ cancer journey and help break down barriers more effectively by understanding the nuances of a patient’s culture, language, and identity.
Manager, Navigation Program
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
“It’s so important to have somebody who looks like you when you walk into a room, especially when you are talking about something so vulnerable as a cancer diagnosis and all the challenges that come along with it. It just allows you to connect with someone on a different level.”
Read more in “Population Health Navigators: An Innovative Approach for Supporting Underserved Patients” in Volume 38, Number One, Oncology Issues.