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Everett-Area Cancer Patients Can More Easily Navigate Health Care System Thanks to the American Cancer Society and AstraZeneca
Date:10/25/2007

AstraZeneca to Provide Funding and Support for "Patient Navigator Program" Site

At Providence Regional Cancer Partnership in Everett, Washington

EVERETT, Wash., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Cancer Society and AstraZeneca today launched a new Patient Navigator Program at the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership in Everett, Washington. Everett's local site is just one part of a strategic nationwide effort to significantly extend the reach of the Society's innovative Patient Navigator Program, a comprehensive initiative to assist individual cancer patients in negotiating the health care system. AstraZeneca has pledged USD$10 million to the American Cancer Society to accelerate development of at least 50 new Patient Navigator Program sites over the next five years in communities throughout the United States, including Everett.

AstraZeneca's support will allow the launch of a full-time Patient Navigator Program site at the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership. According to American Cancer Society estimates, 31,080 Washingtonians will be diagnosed with cancer in 2007.

"A cancer diagnosis can be a life-changing experience for patients, their families and their caregivers," said Kathy Reiff, American Cancer Society Patient Navigator. "I'm here to provide support every step of the way, from explaining what to expect with chemotherapy, to making sure patients have transportation to and from appointments. Fighting cancer is a difficult, challenging journey; with the help of trained navigators, patients don't have to go through it alone."

The American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program directly connects cancer patients to local education and support specialists -- known as "navigators" -- who, through one-on-one relationships, serve as personal guides to patients as they face the psychological, emotional and financial challenges of their cancer experience. The initiative is free and confidential, and places an emphasis on assisting the medically underserved.

"A cancer diagnosis can be the most overwhelming experience a person may ever face, and we know that diagnosis is just the beginning of a challenging journey to successfully fight this disease," said Ann Marie Pomerinke, CEO of the American Cancer Society Great West Division. "While there are many uncertainties associated with cancer, the Patient Navigator Program can relieve some of these anxieties by providing personalized support and education for the needs of each patient and their families."

Navigators for the American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program provide patients, survivors, and caregivers with social services and programs, as well as resources tailored to the local community. As no cancer experience is the same, navigators also are equipped to provide patients with customized, high-quality, current, easy-to-understand cancer-related information. Navigators seek to improve quality of life for cancer patients, families and caregivers throughout the continuum -- from time of diagnosis, through treatment, into survivorship. Furthermore, navigators are able to increase treatment compliance and follow-up care through a greater understanding of issues.

"AstraZeneca is thrilled to be the first corporation to give nationwide, large-scale support to the American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program," said Lisa Schoenberg, Vice President of Specialty Care, AstraZeneca LP. "This is the beginning of a new chapter in AstraZeneca's commitment to personalized cancer care. We are proud to support the American Cancer Society's Patient Navigator Program in its mission of improving patient outcomes, not only in Washington, but in communities throughout the country."

"Successfully treating cancer involves more than accurate diagnosis and effective therapies," said Jean McMahon, executive director Providence Regional Cancer Partnership. "We must tend to the whole patient experience including the psychological support which patients often need. Patient navigators directly assist patients by eliminating financial, communication and emotional barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment. This kind of support may be life saving."

About the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program

The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program provides guidance for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to help them navigate the cancer experience, with a focus on eliminating barriers to cancer care for the medically underserved. Formally launched in 2005, the Society's Patient Navigator Program, in collaboration with community-based hospitals and cancer centers, links those affected by cancer to patient navigators who serve as personal guides for patients as they face the psychological, emotional and financial aspects of their unique cancer experience. Society patient navigators receive national-level training through the American Cancer Society, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute Patient Navigation Research Program navigators, as well as localized training and opportunities for ongoing education.

There are currently 84 American Cancer Society Patient Navigator program sites across the U.S. The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator program is a component of the American Cancer Society Cancer Resource Network, a free, comprehensive resource to help patients and their caregivers manage the impact of cancer on their lives through up-to-date cancer information and referrals to Society programs and other community resources. For more information about how the American Cancer Society helps patients and caregivers, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit http://www.cancer.org.

About The American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit http://www.cancer.org.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $26.47 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infection products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $12.44 billion healthcare business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: http://www.astrazeneca-us.com.

About the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership

The Providence Regional Cancer Partnership opened in June 2007. It is the result of a first-ever collaboration between four leading medical groups -- Providence Everett Medical Center, The Everett Clinic, Western Washington Medical Group and Northwest Washington Radiation Oncology Associates. The Cancer Partnership offers all aspects of outpatient cancer care under one roof including chemotherapy, radiation oncology, clinical research, integrative medicine and counseling services. It also hosts some of the most sought-after cancer technology never before available in the Puget Sound region. For more information about the Cancer Partnership, please visit: http://www.cancerpartnership.org.

Media Contacts:

Kristin Ratigan

American Cancer Society

Puget Sound Region

Kristin.Ratigan@cancer.org

206-674-4130

Cheri Russum

Providence Regional Cancer Partnership

Cheri.Russum@providence.org

425-304-0591

Laurie Casaday

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Laurie.Casaday@astrazeneca.com

302-885-2699


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SOURCE AstraZeneca
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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