The Nevada Cancer Coalition launched a new program and website in May with goals of building the cancer patient and cancer survivorship community through supportive resources and peer mentoring.
The ThriveNV navigation network consists of two navigators who connect patients, survivors, or caregivers with resources and support. The cancer coalition is working on securing funding to hire a third navigator who is bilingual.
Patient navigators help provide support to individuals and families and help patients schedule screenings and get established with a primary care doctor. They are also someone patients can call for questions about treatment, medical terminology, diagnosis and related topics.
“We believe that this program will help not only patients and survivors, but also their caregivers by bridging the gap in access to navigators that many face in our state,” said Amy Thompson, a patient navigator who works with the Nevada Cancer Coalition survivorship program.
“We know that cancer touches everyone in some way and having access to resources and people to help navigate the system is a critical part of decreasing barriers to care that so many people face. People do not choose to have cancer and they deserve to have access to resources, navigation, and peer support no matter where they live and no matter their financial or insurance status.”
Thompson, an oncology nurse, said the cancer coalition has been informing the public about ThriveNV.
“We have been sharing information about the program through various statewide newsletters, social media, support groups, the ThriveNV navigation network, and taking virtual networking opportunities to present about our program,” Thompson said.
The cancer coalition has had representatives visit several medical facilities, mental health clinics, and senior centers to provide each with literature, Thompson said. In-person outreach was done through the UNR Rural Outreach Clinic in Yerington and is also scheduled this summer at rural clinics in Silver Springs and Lovelock.
Thompson said ThriveNV patient navigators hope to also be a source to providers and other organizations that help cancer patients. The coalition often receives calls from organizations seeking information about support groups or other cancer resources.
ThriveNV has also partnered with Imerman Angels, a non-profit organization specializing in providing personalized connections to enable one-on-one support to cancer patients, survivors, previvors and caregivers. Previvors are those who have an elevated predisposition to being diagnosed with cancer due to a hereditary risk.
Volunteers, or “mentor angels,” are being sought. Anybody interested in sharing experiences and compassion with someone dealing with cancer are asked to visit https://www.thrivenv.org/peer-peer-support or call 775-451-1670.
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.