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October 23, 2018

Maine Cancer Foundation awards nearly $500K to three organizations

Courtesy /  Maine Cancer Foundation
Courtesy / Maine Cancer Foundation
Tara Hill, Maine Cancer Foundation’s executive director, said that “a cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest things that can happen to a person, and a trained patient navigator can make all the difference.” The organization announced close to $500,000 in grants to three Maine organizations for patient-navigator initiatives.

About Maine Cancer Foundation

Maine Cancer Foundation is dedicated to reducing cancer incidence and mortality rates in Maine. The organization leads a state-wide effort to advance the most promising and effective cancer-fighting efforts available to the people of Maine through a combination of grant-based financial support and coalition building.

Maine Cancer Foundation on Monday announced grants totalling $489,557 to three organizations that will create "patient navigator positions" to identify and eliminate barriers preventing individuals from getting high-quality cancer care.

Patient navigators work with patients and community members to help them get prevention information, screenings and logistical support so that they can get the best possible care.

"A cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest things that can happen to a person, and a trained patient navigator can make all the difference," said Tara Hill, MCF's executive director, in Monday's announcement. "Navigators guide a cancer patient through their journey, helping them to access the best possible care, locate financial and transportation resources, and ensure the patient and their family are aware of all of the possible support available."

Since 2015, Maine Cancer Foundation has invested more than $2.3 million to support patient navigation in Maine.

The latest recipients and amounts are as follows:

Cary Medical Center, Caribou: $161,557.

This grant will help provide oncology patient navigation services at the Jefferson Cary Cancer Center by creating a full-time oncology nurse navigator position. Funds will also be used to provide the navigator with the evidence-based navigation training and certification needed to support low-income cancer patients in Aroostook County.

Katahdin Valley Health Center: $164,000.

The Katahdin Valley Health Center Patient Navigator Project will expand its Patient Assistance Department in providing outreach, education and navigation to increase the number of eligible KVHC patients to complete on-time, recommended colorectal screenings, mammograms, and cervical screenings. The goal is to increase cancer screenings, prevention, early detection and adult access to quality care, and to improve health outcomes.

Greater Portland Health: $164,000.

Greater Portland Health is working to increase preventative cancer screening rates among minority population patients to reach established organizational targets for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, along with Hepatitis C testing to prevent liver cancer. As experts in providing culturally sensitive care to under-served minority populations, outreach workers serving as patient navigators and cultural brokers within their communities will be effective in engaging the target population in order to reach the health center's priority goals.

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