Patient Navigation is emerging as a valuable service in cancer care. Traditionally, navigation involves providing patients with an individual who guides or “navigates” them through the medical system, improving access to care and resources to ensure the delivery of appropriate care in a timely fashion.
Smith Center has expanded the concept of patient navigation by developing a unique, groundbreaking integrative navigation model that offers adults facing cancer (and their loved ones) comprehensive, holistic psychosocial support throughout the entire cancer experience, from diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship.
We advocate the use of both medical intervention and complementary supportive modalities in addressing cancer to facilitate healing on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Our model contains elements of psychosocial support, experiential instruction, and holistic practices while including more traditional navigational strategies.
Our goal is to educate, support, and empower individuals with cancer so they may:
- Access all appropriate available resources that will assist them in their healing
- Improve their quality of life while living with cancer
- Reduce their stress from dealing with a serious illness
- Alter their cancer experience in a way that is positive and meaningful for them
Smith Center offers Individual Patient Navigation Services through seven highly-trained cancer survivors located at our U Street Center and Community Navigation Services through local churches and partner organizations throughout Washington DC.
Our Navigators assist adults living with cancer with:
- Accessing screening, medical, and integrative treatment and survivorship resources
- Developing skills to better cope with cancer and their treatments
- Emotional and spiritual support from diagnosis through recovery and survivorship
- Obtaining information and instruction in integrative therapies
We offer confidential individual counseling services as well as educational and experiential workshops on a variety of topics, discussions that address cultural barriers regarding cancer and cancer screening and treatment, and preparatory classes for patients, where they learn about cancer treatments and integrative cancer care services available in the community.
Smith Center has been a leader in patient-centered navigation since 2006.
As a leader in navigation, Smith Center:
- Created a pioneering integrative cancer navigation model
- Instituted the first navigation program at Howard University Hospital
- Expanded the integrative patient navigation model to the underserved communities of Washington DC.
- Developed National Training in Integrative Cancer Care Navigation
- Created a professional navigation networking group for Washington DC
- Led a workgroup on navigation education needs for Washington DC
- Participated in the country’s first city-wide cancer navigation network
Learn more about the history of Smith Center Patient Navigation services.