Smith Center's fifth annual Patient Navigation Training will be held Sunday, September 8 - Friday, September 13, 2013 at Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, MD.
Smith Center's innovative patient navigation training program brings together navigators from across the country for a deeply comprehensive learning experience in the practice of integrative cancer care navigation.
Our goal is to provide each participant with the knowledge, resources, and tools to establish an integrative navigation practice that offers each client individualized, holistic support throughout the entire cancer experience, from screening and diagnosis through treatment, recovery, survivorship, and end-of-life.
The training prepares navigators to offer individuals facing cancer the type of education, advocacy, guidance, support, and companionship that improves quality of life and contributes to more patients successfully completing treatment.
Who Becomes an Integrative Cancer Care Navigator?
Smith Center's Patient Navigation Training in Integrative Cancer Care is open to both new and experienced navigators. Past trainees have included healthcare professionals like nurses and oncology social workers who serve diverse populations and come from a variety of backgrounds. Lay navigators are also welcome to participate in the training.
How is the Program Structured?
Our 4 1/2 day training is a unique blend of didactic and experiential sessions that cover navigation and integrative techniques. The training is offered at a retreat facility close to Washington, DC.
Smith Center's navigation training is built upon our Integrative Navigation Model and reflects the structure of our signature Weeklong Retreats. This means that participants are fully engaged, body and mind, as they explore various modes of healing through discussion and physically, through practice. Each day offers time for questions and group discussion, and there is ample opportunity to practice learned skills and seek individual assistance.
This intensive program covers topics such as:
- Client Assessment
- Stress Reduction Techniques
- Survivorship Issues
- The Art of Healing
- Spiritual Support
- Oncology 101
- Client Resources
- Education and Outreach in Navigation
- Planning Your Integrative Practice
- Communication Skills
Our faculty is comprised of internationally recognized integrative practitioners, cancer coaches, cancer survivors, distinguished physicians, clinical health professionals, and national leaders in cancer care. The training is co-led by Carole O'Toole and Laura Pole. Together, they bring more than 40 years of experience in navigation, integrative cancer care, clinical training and teaching expertise to the training.
Carole O'Toole, MS, Training Facilitator, is Director of Smith Center's hospital and community-based patient navigation programs, and was instrumental in the development of their integrative navigation model. She has been involved with cancer navigation for 15 years, is the author of two books on integrative cancer care, and has chaired the DC Cancer Consortium Workgroup on Patient Navigation Training and Education.
Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS, Training Facilitator, is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and head chef for Smith Center retreats. She is a consultant and educator in palliative care for the Palliative Care Partnership of the Roanoke Valley and the Virginia POST Collaborative, former nurse educator for the Virginia Association of Hospices, and past president of the Southwest Virginia Pain Initiative.
Recent faculty includes:
- Kavita Avula, PsyD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist
- Ted Billings, LCSW, Psychotherapist
- Greg Finch, DMin, MDiv, MTS, BEd, Founder, Wild Geese Among Us
- Hunter Groninger, MD, Staff Clinician, Pain and Palliative Care Service, National Institutes of Health
- David McGinness, MSW, LCSW, Hispanic Program Coordinator, Life With Cancer
- Kymberly Sevilla, AHFP, E-RYT, Yoga and Exercise Specialist
The program offers a student/faculty ratio of 2:1 to allow for individualized attention and to facilitate close interaction with fellow participants, which enhances the learning experience and fosters additional support for the individual navigator. See our 2013 program page for a sample daily schedule.
The training also provides extensive educational literature and resources on integrative therapies as well as patient forms and resources needed to establish an integrative navigation practice.
Post-training support is offered to students through list serves, educational teleconferences and continued access to faculty.
Following the training, participants are able to:
- Define cancer navigation and the role of navigators at every step of the cancer journey
- Effectively communicate with and assist diverse and medically underserved patients and caregivers through the entire cancer continuum
- Describe integrative cancer care and basic integrative cancer therapies
- Apply basic, evidence-based integrative mind-body therapies with clients
- Assist patients in identifying and accessing medical and integrative care
- Effectively educate others about integrative cancer care navigation
- Identify the components needed to build an effective integrative navigation practice
- Enhance their organization's ability to meet the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer patient navigation standards
At our 2012 training, Smith Center offered over 30 hours of continuing education credits for the training.
For a sample of program content and more information about the application process, please visit our 2013 training program page.
Feedback from 2012 Trained Navigators
"A top notch, beautifully designed, thoughtful and elegantly delivered program that is both personally and professionally enriching."
"...my heart is full and my brain is on overtime with ideas and possibilities... I am forever changed for the better."
"This training covers so much, ranging from the nuts and bolts of navigation to spiritual care and everything in between."
"The caring compassion and desire to help us was evident in all staff."
"The entire spectrum of speakers and offerings were beautifully delivered and integrated. I was served by each and every piece of the training."