The Cancer Center’s nationally-recognized Prevention on the Go program provided its 100,000th free cancer screening in 2021. This year, the program, which is funded solely by generous supporters, celebrates its 20th anniversary. This education, prevention and screening initiative, is a mobile-based program, traveling to some of our region’s most underserved and vulnerable communities. One of the key members of this life-saving team is Sharneitha Bradford, LPN, patient navigator.
Through her ten years of service as a Prevention on the Go team member, Sharneitha has personally navigated nearly every screening participant who experiences an abnormal finding – a term used to describe the possibility of a cancer diagnosis. Faced with barriers to care and limited access to resources, many of the patients screened through Prevention on the Go face challenges when it comes to follow-up care.
Sharneitha recounts one patient she worked with last year and the barriers she encountered in getting the patient help following an abnormal breast exam. The list of obstacles went on and on, from a lack of reliable transportation to a need for financial resources and difficulty in finding a provider. Sharneitha ultimately persevered and, with the help of her team of healthcare contacts, worked with the patient to secure her necessary follow-up care. With her in-depth knowledge and experience, it usually doesn’t take Sharneitha very long to help a patient; however, in this case, she spent countless hours over the course of two months to ensure her patient got the care she needed. This is just one example of the value of the patient navigator role.
In 2021 alone, Sharneitha navigated 581 screening participants. Since joining Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in 2012, she has helped 8,149 individuals – including those screened through the Prevention on the Go workplace program. The initiative brings screening services to companies and organizations across Louisiana so that employees, even those with access to health insurance, have a convenient opportunity to get the cancer screenings they need.
Prevention on the Go is literally saving lives across Louisiana and Mississippi. Sharneitha and the entire Prevention on the Go team play a critical role in furthering Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s mission to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer.
*An abbreviated version of this story can be found in the 2021 OneOncology Annual Report.