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Patient Navigator

At the Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology Program, we are fortunate to have the support of the Eliana Program for our patient navigator. From the first sign of an abnormality, patients can experience an enormous amount of pre-treatment testing. This level of testing continues through the confirmation of a diagnosis and preparation for multimodal treatment, which is distributed across various disciplines or among a range of providers. Some testing procedures are complex and unpleasant for the patient. Among the most common tests are MRIs, CAT scans, and stress tests in nuclear medicine. In addition, bronchoscopies, esophagoscopies, and mediastinoscopies must often be completed before main treatment begins. Coordination of care, and attentive care, are critical to creating positive patient experiences. Carefully coordinated care is also essential to ensuring timely procedures throughout the treatment process, and, ultimately, to promote better outcomes. To ensure that this fundamental aspect of optimal treatment is provided, the Eliana Center has hired a dedicated patient navigator. The key functions of the patient navigator are:

  • Serve as a single contact for each patient throughout his or her treatment process
  • Act as liaison for the patient with other professionals in the treatment process
  • Provide the patient with information about resources in other areas of support such as pain management, stress reduction instruction, nutrition counseling, family counseling, and financial counseling.
Our Patient Navigator, Patricia Stacey, is a longtime member of the Continuum Cancer Centers staff. Ms. Stacey was administrator for the Radiation/Oncology and Hematology/Oncology Departments at Mount Sinai Beth Israel and then Mount Sinai West for a total of 15 years. She is a former radiation oncology therapist who is thoroughly familiar with the Continuum Cancer Centers and the needs of thoracic oncology patients. Ms. Stacey lost her own father to lung cancer. In her role as Patient Navigator, she sees herself as not only expediting procedures, but as humanizing the process providing emotional and psychological support for the patients and easing pressures on the medical staff. An important part of her interaction with patients is simply listening. Ms. Stacey consults closely with the Continuum Cancer Centers Supportive Services (CSS).. The CSS staff includes a pain management specialist, social workers, an oncology nutritionist, and a chaplain. As Patient Navigator, Ms. Stacey will en courage our patients to use the CSS services, thus helping them develop effective coping strategies and enabling them to be active partners in their own care.

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