Studies show that newly diagnosed cancer patients rate their quality of care higher and report fewer problems if they receive support from a patient navigator. This is why Mary Bird Perkins, in conjunction with its hospital partners (Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and Terrebonne General Medical Center), offers navigation services at no cost for patients diagnosed with cancer.
The navigation team is made up of registered nurses, social workers and dieticians who focus one-hundred percent of their time working with cancer patients. These services are made possible by the generosity of the community and assist with:
When a navigator first meets with a patient, they will assess and identify any medical or psychosocial needs they may have. Appropriate information on community resources, support groups and educational programs are then provided to ensure patients receive the best care possible.
Navigation team members can help educate patients, family members and caregivers on cancer diagnosis, treatment, side effects and clinical trials. When a patient is receiving information from various specialists, navigators can help reinforce instructions and information. The Cancer Center’s dieticians, who are part of the navigation department, can also help address nutritional needs, assist with symptom management and improve the nutritional status of patients before, during and after treatment.
Patient navigators also help remove any barriers throughout the cancer journey. Some common barriers our navigators address include coordinating transportation to and from cancer treatments and identifying financial assistance resources for treatments.
Navigators can also help coordinate support services, tests and procedures and physician appointments. This ensures each patient has a dedicated support person who can connect them with resources within the Cancer Center and community. Navigators are able to enhance communication between various service providers between doctor visits.
Cancer can be a challenge for patients, families and their caregivers. The fear and anxiety of the unknown can be difficult. A navigator offers a kind, empathetic ear and can help guide a patient through important conversations to figure out how they can be best supported.
For more information on how you can receive the help you need, contact one of our patient navigators or social workers today.
Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center: (225) 215-1126
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington: (985) 898-4581
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Houma: (985) 850-6309
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Gonzales: (225) 644-1205
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Hammond: (985) 542-5000