The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com is collaborating with the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) to provide better tools, resources and support to mesothelioma patients and their families.
AONN+ is an advocacy organization that supports, educates and certifies nurses and patient navigators in cancer care and survivorship. All of these resources help nurses and navigators provide better care to patients.
Founded in 2009, AONN+ is the largest organization of its kind in the U.S.
AONN+ believes cancer survivorship begins at the point of diagnosis. They promote survivorship care planning from the time of diagnosis to help patients live longer, fulfilling lives.
“Our companies share the same vision where we believe that by effective navigation, a cancer patient and their family can have all the tools they need for a successful treatment, community support, all while trying to maintain a quality of life,” said The Mesothelioma Center’s Medical Outreach Director Missy Miller.
AONN+ Benefits Nurses, Navigators & Patients
Vanessa Blanco, a Patient Advocate at The Mesothelioma Center, is an AONN+ member and received the Oncology Patient Navigator Certification in May 2018.
“I joined AONN+ because I believed it would be valuable to our patients,” Blanco said.
AONN+ gathers data and resources to help nurses, navigators and patients dealing with all types of cancer including rare cancers such as mesothelioma.
“Being part of AONN+ allows me to learn about the new resources available to cancer patients,” Blanco said. “It also allows me to network with other oncology navigators and share ideas on solving some of the common struggles cancer patients deal with after diagnosis.”
Others at The Mesothelioma Center have become AONN+ members including Miller and Medical Outreach Liaison Jose Ortiz.
“AONN+ provides us with vast knowledge on ways to help patients improve their access to care and maintain a better quality of life during and after their cancer treatments,” Miller said.
AONN+’s supportive network and education initiatives are advancing best practices for patient navigation in cancer care. Improving these practices can revolutionize cancer care and may help some cancer patients live longer, better lives.
“They provide us with amazing educational materials, seminars and conferences that we can attend to learn more about what options are out there for patients,” Miller said. “They are also instrumental in raising awareness and community outreach, allowing us to connect patients with local options for support.”
JONS Interview with The Mesothelioma Center
The Mesothelioma Center and its Medical Outreach program were featured in the July 2018 issue of the Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship (JONS).
JONS interviewed Miller about the center and how it helps patients and families affected by mesothelioma.
“Our mission is to provide essential, up-to-date resources about mesothelioma. We strive to connect patients with all the resources they require,” Miller said. “There are many unmet needs, concerns and opportunities for the community of mesothelioma patients. Our goal is to be a trusted resource for these patients and their families.”
The Medical Outreach program is one of the most valuable resources the center offers. It helps patients find doctors in their area who specialize in their specific type of mesothelioma.
“We travel to different doctors’ offices to understand the specific type of program each doctor offers for mesothelioma, including the number of patients treated,” Miller said. “We like to gather as much information as possible, down to the smallest details. Relaying as much information as possible — even as simple as parking instructions — can relieve some anxiety for patients.”
The Mesothelioma Center’s Patient Advocates and Medical Outreach team use the benefits of the AONN+ membership to better serve mesothelioma patients and their families.
“I’ll be coming up on almost 18 years of being in the health care industry,” Ortiz said. “I have been to or participated in many different societies and organizations, but after attending my first AONN+ meeting and seeing how passionate and engaging members were, it was clear that this is a great and important place to be a part of.”