NEW YORK--()--Empire BlueCross Blue Shield today announced that additional resources to help cancer patients are in New York thanks to a $150,000 grant from its corporate foundation to the American Cancer Society. The funds are supporting the statewide expansion of the American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigator Program, as well as assisting in the creation of a Patient Navigator Center of Excellence.
“The American Cancer Society offers outstanding programs and services to all those affected by cancer”
"After someone is told they have cancer, they often don’t know what their next steps should be," said Roshini George, national vice president of health promotions for the American Cancer Society. "The Patient Navigator Program is designed to help those newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers by providing personal guidance and increased access to resources and support."
The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program creates one-on-one relationships between newly diagnosed patients and trained patient navigators, who provide information, support, and personal guidance throughout a cancer experience. Patient Navigators are available to help patients and their families face the psychological, emotional, and financial challenges that cancer can bring. The service is free and confidential, and places an emphasis on assisting medically underserved populations.
Funding for the Center of Excellence is supporting a special training and operating group within the American Cancer Society dedicated to addressing the unique needs of cancer patients from a wide range of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
“The American Cancer Society offers outstanding programs and services to all those affected by cancer,” said Brian Griffin, President and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. “The American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigators are experts at understanding how to link patients and their families with the services and information they need. They bring everything together in a one-stop-shop fashion of way that helps to ease the stress of navigating the health care system so cancer patients can focus on getting better.”
To use the Patient Navigator Program or get information about other available services, individuals should call the American Cancer Society at toll-free 1-800-ACS-2345.
The American Cancer Society launched its Patient Navigator Program in 2005 in collaboration with community-based hospitals and cancer centers to decrease the fragmentation of cancer treatment services and increase access to cancer treatment among uninsured and underserved individuals. Through the program, the Society has placed trained staff in 134 hospitals and treatment centers across the country, as well as in centralized call centers serving large regions to assist cancer patients as they begin treatment.
“We are tremendously proud to be able to help the American Cancer Society strengthen the Patient Navigator Program in the New York metropolitan area and to support their work to create a Center of Excellence that will take this program to the next level,” said Griffin.
Support for the New York program is part of a larger, $1.5 million commitment from Empire BlueCross BlueShield’s parent company foundation supporting 17 Patient Navigator programs in 14 states.
Through its State Health Index – a state-by-state compilation of public health measures – and Healthy Generations grant program, Empire BlueCross BlueShield and its foundation work to identify the health issues most in need of attention and direct charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving those areas. Expanding access to cancer care and information is a focus of the foundation.
“We are grateful for the continued support of the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation which is helping make a positive difference and providing support for cancer patients when they need it most,” George said.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
About Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Serving New Yorkers for over 75 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting nearly six million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at facebook.com/healthjoinin or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.
About Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation (and the Empire BlueCross Foundation), trade names of the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation L.L.C., independent licensees of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State, promotes Empire’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that Empire serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges.