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Members Memo

At a recent conference, I heard a new term that might interest navigators: food insecurity. The US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service defines food insecurity as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”
The prevalence of herbal medication use among cancer patients is greater than 35% in the United States. A lot has been published discussing the interaction between herbal products and conventional medications in oncology care.
I hope each member is off to a Happy New Year for 2016! The new year is often a time of reflection as well as a visualization of things to come. As navigators, the characteristics of proactivity, as well as flexibility, are vital to our job as well as an asset for patient interaction. As we look forward to the East Coast Regional Conference in May, a topic of interest and discussion will be palliative care.
As navigators, we are called to be financial stewards for our patients. A personal experience of an elderly family member who was being navigated through a cancer diagnosis this year was an example of this valuable role of navigation.
We are proud of Amy E. Rettig, MSN, MALM, RN, ACNS-BC, PMHNP-BC, CBCN, Emergency Services-Clinical Nurse Specialist, who has been named to the SelfMade Health Network Leadership Council.
Our AONN+ chapter formed as a few nurse navigators were getting together occasionally after work to share ideas and support each other. This grew into a plan to launch a state chapter of AONN+ after learning how simple it would be to start.
The AONN+ upstate chapter was formed after a discussion at the AONN+ national meeting on developing a local chapter. Kirsten Beeker was extremely enthusiastic and the main driver of the chapter development.
Each AONN+ chapter leader was asked to share best practices of their chapter with the AONN+ membership. Remember, there are no standard templates for the chapters.
It was exciting to hear from the existing chapters across the United States at the annual conference this year. After listening to everyone share their ideas and meeting themes from the past year, one thought came to mind: “If you have seen one AONN+ chapter, you have only seen only one AONN+ chapter.”
Distress screening is a common topic among navigators and financial distress is a common theme. Each program has resources to manage this stress for patients, but it usually helps with transportation, medication, or medical equipment costs.
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