Buddy Check: Patient Navigation Program


Laura Toole, Director of Community and Patient Services at the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute knows the story
“Many of us, we see a doctor only when we are not feeling well, but we know that for overall health including preventative cancer health that seeing your doctor on a regular basis and communicating with she or he on a variety of health related issues helps us be healthy.”

     But sometimes our busy lives prevents us from getting that check-up – that’s where the patient navigation program comes in.
    For some, asking for help can be embarrassing, stressful and even frightening.
    President of Northeast Regional Cancer institute, Karen Saunders understands

“There’s no reason to be embarrassed. There are so many in that same position.”

     ‘The patient navigation program’ was designed to eliminate barriers, leaving no excuse for not getting to the doctor.

“We’ve been able to help people get connected to a medical home. We’ve been able to connect people to an ongoing path of screening. We have seen thankfully that we’ve been able to connect individuals that didn’t have health insurance but actually qualified for some public funded health insurance get connected to that.” said Toole

    The bottom line is…  Checking a woman’s breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease can help detect breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat.
    So whether insurance, transportation or childcare complications are holding you back from getting screened for breast cancer, the non-profits’ staff will use kindness, compassion and persistence to get you relief and a piece of mind.

   It is the 28th of the Month a reminder to call your buddy and remind them to do a self breast exam.

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About Buddy Check

Each month, we feature people and events in the fight against Breast Cancer and other devastating cancers. We share inspiring stories of survival from people throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania in hopes it will help others live a healthy, happy life.

Gallery of Hope

Awareness, screenings, and early detection are the keys in the fight against breast cancer. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 97%. That’s why Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania created the Gallery of Hope.

Since 2000, the Gallery of Hope has been sharing the stories of breast cancer survivors from throughout northeastern and north central Pennsylvania . . . women and men whose experiences help us educate others.

If you know someone who's battled breast cancer and been an inspiration to others, nominate them for this year’s Gallery of Hope by clicking on the box below. And help us spread the word by displaying the traveling Gallery at your facility or event. Simply click on the "Request" link below.

Nominate a survivor from your community.

Learn More


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go and need your help!

Learn more at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.


The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. NBCAM recognizes that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. Today, we remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

Learn More at www.nbcam.org.

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