The American Cancer Society recently distinguished The University of Toledo Medical Center as an important hub of oncology research and treatment when it placed one of its patient navigators in the hospital’s Cancer Center.Samantha Knox, the patient navigator who moved into an office on Health Science Campus last month, will help cancer patients at UTMC and in the broader region connect with a wide range of required or desired resources on a local and national level aimed at, she said, “making their cancer journey a little bit easier.”
She is one of just 16 patient navigators located across the state.
Knox thinks the UTMC Cancer Center was chosen by the cancer society because of the strength of its oncology expertise and the capability of its medical teams.
“A lot of collaboration has also been done between the American Cancer Society and UTMC throughout the years, so I believe there is a great relationship between the two entities,” she said.
As a patient navigator, Knox can help patients and their families find “financial assistance, wigs, support groups, educational material, medical equipment and/or supplies, and anything else the patient can think of,” she said.
“If a patient has a need, I will work to find it and if I can’t, I will connect with other UTMC staff or patient navigators and brainstorm ways to get the patient what he or she needs,” Knox said.
“With me here, resources and connections can be made right away for patients. If they need educational materials, they can get them from me and take them home rather than waiting for mail delivery.”
“Our cancer program is pleased to have this opportunity to collaborate with the American Cancer Society to have access to patient navigator services on site,” said Janelle Tipton, an oncology clinical nurse specialist at UTMC, who is also the hospital’s host liaison for the cancer society. “We are fortunate to have this capability in northwest Ohio.”
Norma Tomlinson, associate vice president and associate executive director of UTMC, echoed those sentiments.
“Having a patient navigator on site to immediately see patients and their families can eliminate time spent worrying about identifying and accessing services that they need,” Tomlinson said. “In many cases, the patient navigator can help them identify their needs before they even recognize them.”
While she said she is willing to help cancer patients with a wide range of possible requests, Knox noted that her assistance is not meant to replace the role of the physician. As such, she can’t offer medical advice and won’t interfere in the relationship between the patient and his or her medical team.
Call the American Cancer Society for more information at 1.800.227.2345.