Dealing with cancer is stressful. But having to find your way through the healthcare system for a consultation, to get advice, to understand the disease and the treatment plan or even to get moral or psychological support on one’s own makes it much harder. That reality is what led us to create the Lung Cancer Navigation Centre at the McGill University Health Centre in 2008.
Created for patients with suspected or diagnosed lung cancer, the navigation centre includes a complete team of general practitioners and specialists, nurses and administrators who are responsible for managing treatment plans and helping patients and their families navigate the process of accessing care and services.
A single phone number connects patients and their families with a coordinator who will direct them to the service or the program that can best respond to their needs. This may involve planning for tests before or after surgery, ensuring translation or interpreter services, accessing emergency services, or providing information and support. The basic concept is to make patients and their families secure in the knowledge that they are in good hands and that they are getting effective and efficient access to the care they need.
The Lung Cancer Navigation Centre of the McGill University Health Centre is directed by Dr. David Mulder and the Associate Nursing Director of Cancer Care and Respiratory Services Andréanne Saucier. It is supported by a three-year annual grant of $250,000 from the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. In addition to ensuring continuous care benefits for patients and their families and reducing patient wait times, the Lung Cancer Navigation Centre also provides an important platform for initiating new cancer research programs, improving patient education resources, and ensuring knowledge transfer to the next generation of healthcare practitioners who will set the course for new hope in the fight against cancer.