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Closing the Care Gap in Equity for Patients with Cancer

February 4, 2022 | AONN+ Blog
Featuring:
Sharon S. Gentry, MSN, RN, HON-ONN-CG, AOCN, CBCN
Sharon S. Gentry, MSN, RN, HON-ONN-CG, AOCN, CBCN
Program Director, AONN+

The theme of World Cancer Day 2022, “Close the Care Gap,” pertains to the issue of equity and that is what ALL oncology navigators do daily! A core competency of patient navigation is to assess barriers to care and engage patients and families in creating potential solutions to financial, practical, and social challenges. Taking into consideration literacy, culture, language, and other patient characteristics, the navigators then continue to identify appropriate and credible resources responsive to patient needs (practical, social, physical, emotional, spiritual).

I am proud of the oncology navigation professionals as they address the barriers and work throughout the continuum of care to close gaps in equity. While improving patient outcomes and increasing patient satisfaction, their work also helps create a positive return on investments by decreasing the rates of no-show or cancellation and increasing downstream revenues with proactive education and trust-building in the care system.

Over the last 2 decades, the profession of patient navigation has become a mainstay support strategy as navigators walk alongside a patient through the initial outreach and prevention, the phases of diagnosis and treatment, and the survivorship and end-of-life care. During this journey, gaps are closed as the power of knowledge is shared with patients and families, and the challenges to oncology standards of care are addressed.

The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) is proud to support this proactive, patient-centered approach that has the capability to “close the gap” to empower patient activation, help with symptom management, and decrease the likelihood of inefficient care.

Related Articles
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AONN+’s Local Navigation Networks (LNNs) tackled the industry’s hottest topics and trends. Sharon Gentry shares LNNs’ biggest takeaways and lessons learned as related to navigational challenges due to the lack of oncology coverage, the impact and appropriateness of genetic testing, and the difference between a mediocre and phenomenal career.
Get Connected with Your AONN+ Leadership Team—Meet Sharon Gentry
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We’re kicking off this new miniseries with Sharon Gentry, MSN, RN, HON-ONN-CG, AOCN, CBCN, AONN+ Program Director. Recently, we sat down with Sharon to ask her a few questions about her navigation journey and the ways in which she enjoys helping AONN+ members. We invite you to read what she shared.
Not a Navigator? The Oncology Navigation Standards of Professional Practice Can Still Work for You!
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It turns out that the Oncology Navigation Standards of Professional Practice aren’t just for clinical and patient navigators. In her latest contribution to the AONN+ member blog, Sharon Gentry explains how people in nonclinical roles can benefit from these standards too.

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